Most Catholics in our world today are baptized at a very young age; few choose their own baptism. However, when an adult seeks to become a member of the Christian family through the Sacrament of Baptism, we rejoice because our own baptism with “the Holy Spirit and fire” initiates us on a journey of discovery not only of who Jesus is, but also who we are in Him.
On the Easter Vigil this year, I am choosing to be baptized (along with receiving my First Communion and being confirmed) in order to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church. I was not baptized as a child because I was not raised in a religious family. In my own reflection, it seems that God has been calling me in little ways over the years and I am ready to say “yes.” I know in my heart that it is time.
Jesus waited thirty years to be baptized. His baptism in the Jordan River from John the Baptist marked the beginning of His public ministry. At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the voice of the Father proclaimed, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). While I understand that I am not THE Son of God, through my own baptism I know I am becoming a daughter of God. The Father is claiming me as His own. I know it will be an amazing experience, and I just hope I don’t bawl my eyes out.
The best part about all of this is that baptism is just the beginning. The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord marks the beginning of his ministry and mission. For us, being baptized means that we share in Jesus’ mission. We learn our mission from experiencing and encountering God in others. In a sense, each of us is called to be like John the Baptist (we are all baptized priest, prophet, and king) so that we can share the message of God’s mercy with every person we meet. Our baptism is an invitation into a family of believers and a sending out, to share in the mission of Jesus.
In closing, I ask for your prayers for myself and my fellow participants in RCIA as we continue through this journey of faith. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.