Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
Beyond the “history” of the Baptism of the Lord Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River, which we proclaim this day (Mark 1:7-11), we recall and renew our discipleship in the Lord Jesus who leads us through the waters of death to the glory of the Resurrection. Our Baptism opens the door to each of the Sacraments which nourish and strengthen us throughout our lives. We are called by name as “Children of God” and “Children of the Light”.
Each Sunday, as we pray the Eucharistic Prayer, there are always intercessions which are included for the Church, for the Pope, the Bishop and all the clergy, for all the faithful and for all those who have died. At the time of the celebration of the Sacraments, and also for Funeral Masses, there are special “inserts” (commemorations) that can be added to the text of the prayer itself. On the day of Baptism, this special commemoration that is prayed:
Strengthen, we pray, in their holy purpose your servants (names) who by the cleansing waters of rebirth (and bestowing of the Holy Spirit) have today been joined to your people and grant that they may always walk in newness of life.
I find it extremely poignant to note that the name of a person is especially included in the Eucharistic Prayer on two most notable days in our lives, the day of Baptism (if it occurs during Mass) and on the day of a Funeral Mass. The commemoration on that day prays thus:
Remember your servant (name) whom you have called from this world to yourself. Grant that he/she who was united with your Son in a death like his, may also be one with him in his Resurrection, when from the earth he will raise up in the flesh those who have died, and transform our lowly body after the pattern of his own glorious body.
The Church, especially on these most special of days, prayerfully remembers her children by name.
Next Sunday we will observe the 13th Anniversary of the Dedication of our Church building. We recall with profound gratitude the great efforts made by Father Andy whose foresight provided for our parish’s future, planned, designed and began construction! We are also grateful to Father Chris who completed the construction and “burned the mortgage”!
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!