So there we have it!!
FAITH AND BAPTISM
Faith is the ENTRANCE to new life
Baptism is the DOOR
Faith and Baptism are LINKED
If an adult is seeking Baptism, it is because they have the response of faith
If an adult is bringing a child to be Baptized, it is the faith of the adult that speaks on behalf of the child
In Mark Ch 2 there is the story of the paralyzed man who is brought to Jesus by his four friends
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike…
It also says this in Matthew’s Gospel that Jesus sees their faith and says to the man, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
The faith of SOMEONE ELSE has spoken on behalf of the person who is forgiven, who is healed
This extends even to the Sacraments like Baptism
Because of this, a godparent or parent can bring their child to Baptism and it is THEIR faith that speaks on behalf of the child
This is not anti-Scriptural
This is not unScriptural
IT IS VERY MUCH IN SCRIPTURE
SOMEONE ELSE’S FAITH SPEAKS FOR ANOTHER!!
At the same time, faith needs to GROW afterwards for all of us
Baptism is just the beginning
Paragraph 1254 says, “For all the baptized, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises.”
At one point in our lives someone spoke these words FOR US
Now we get to speak them for ourselves
At one point someone’s faith spoke on our behalf
Now it is our response to God that speaks
WHO CAN BAPTIZE?
Ordinary ministers like bishops, priests, and deacons
Extraordinary ministers like you and me
Paragraph 1256 says, “In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize…”
God wants ALL PEOPLE to be saved
Baptism is NECESSARY for salvation
The only things that are required are the INTENTION to do what the Church does when She baptizes
Baptize with water with the Trinitarian formula
Fr. Mike’s mom and grandma were nurses and were taught to Baptize
In emergency cases, they baptized children
THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM
Jesus Himself affirms that Baptism is NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
John 3:5, “Only those who are born again of water and the Spirit can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
At the very end of the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!!
THIS IS NECESSARY TO ALL THOSE TO WHOM THE GOSPEL HAS BEEN PROCLAIMED!!
A lot of us have these questions…
Paragraph 1257 says, “The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude…”
We just don’t know of any other way
Jesus has given us THIS
Maybe there is something else
WE DO NOT KNOW OF ANY OTHER WAY!!
We have to take what Jesus has given us
JESUS IS THE LORD GOD!!
GOD KNOWS ALL THE THINGS!!
GOD IS IN CHARGE!!
Vastly more than any of us can understand
God is the one who gave us the Sacrament of Baptism
God is the one who said, “THIS IS THE WAY.” (This is also true for Mandalorians!!! Every Single THIS IS THE WAY || THE MANDALORIAN )
God has not given us another way
God is not unjust
God is COMPLETELY JUST
We do know this…
Paragraph 1257 continues, “God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.”
Every time a Sacrament is celebrated, God is there and active
God is doing the thing
Every time someone is Baptized, God is there
Every time someone goes to Confession, God forgives
GOD IS NOT BOUND BY HIS SACRAMENTS!!
GOD CAN DO WHATEVER GOD WANTS TO DO!!
At the same time, we only know of Baptism as the doorway to Eternal Salvation
Paragraph 1258 says, “The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.”
It would be beyond the pale that someone who shed their blood for Jesus Christ by dying would not be in Heaven
Paragraph 1259 says, “For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.”
Fr. Mike is telling the story about Baptism of desire
What about those who have never been Baptized, like children?
Paragraph 1260 says, “‘Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.’”
This means that there is no one living on this planet for whom Jesus has died that does not have a chance to say YES to God in that definitive way
EVERY HUMAN BEING is made in God’s image
God wants EVERY PERSON HE EVER CREATED to be a Saint with Him in Heaven
THIS IS A WAY KNOWN TO GOD
We don’t know and we don’t need to know
God makes it possible for EVERY HUMAN BEING WHO LIVES to say YES to Him in a definitive way
Does that make sense?
More what abouts…
Jesus Christ died for ALL
He wants EVERY PERSON to be saved
In a way known to GOD ALONE
We hold on to this TRUTH that God makes it possible that every person has a chance to say YES to Him in a definitive way
Paragraph 1260 continues, “Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved.”
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
This is not a WILLED ignorance
This is an ACCIDENTAL INVINCIBLE ignorance
“I don’t know and I could not have known.”
It’s not enough to not know and then go to Heaven
You have to ACTIVELY SEEK THE TRUTH
THEN you have to ACTIVELY DO THE WILL OF GOD according to your understanding
You can’t be lackadaisical
God’s grace is BROAD and DEEP
So we hold out hope that all those who do that can be saved
Paragraph 1260 continues, “It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.”
Paragraph 1261 says, “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them.”
What does this mean?
THAT MEANS WE HOPE!!
A Catholic funeral is not merely a celebration of life or a ritual or a way to say goodbye
A Catholic funeral is a PRAYER for that person who has died
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!
The point of the funeral is to PRAY FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS DIED
We only pray for people when WE HAVE HOPE FOR THEM
If there was NO POSSIBILITY for them to be in Heaven, then there is no reason to pray
The Church entrusts all those babies who died without Baptism to the mercy of God
The great Mercy of God who desires that ALL MEN SHOULD BE SAVED
Jesus’ tenderness towards children
Allow us the hope that there is a way of Salvation for children who have died without Baptism
So many people who are listening have lost children in the womb
Or the child died unexpectedly
The grief is unimaginable
Then there is secondary grief when one wonders if that child will be in Heaven
WE HOLD OUT HOPE THAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE IN HEAVEN WITH THE LORD GOD!!
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them.”
JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT YOUR CHILD!!
JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN!!
We know that this is the heart of God
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US!!
Baptism is NECESSARY
And at the same time…
God’s love is EVEN BIGGER than His Sacraments
God’s love comes to us in the Sacraments, absolutely
And GOd’s love is EVEN BIGGER than His Sacraments
God has bound Salvation to the Sacrament of Baptism
God Himself is NOT BOUND BY HIS SACRAMENTS
GOD’S LOVE IS UNBOUNDED!!
That love has touched your children whom you have lost
That love is where your children live right now
THAT IS WHAT WE HOPE!!
Our call right now is to continue to live in that love
Our call right now is to continue to walk in that love so that one day we are in that same place
Where parents and children are once again reunited in the love of Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit
THAT IS OUR HOPE!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!