So there we have it!!
We are brought into the Church by Baptism
We talked about other incredible consequences
Baptism makes us new
Baptism forgives us of our sins
Baptism makes us into God’s own sons and daughters
Today we learn that this is not just an individual thing
Following our Lord Jesus Christ is not an individual sport
IT IS A TEAM SPORT!!
Baptism makes us MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
Baptism BRINGS US INTO THE CHURCH
THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND!!
Go back to the Old Testament
Whenever people were brought into covenant relationship with God, which is what Baptism does for the New Covenant, it was never a one on one thing
Yes it is definitely personal
Think of a man who is circumcised on the 8th day
He is brought into this unique relationship
He is now a part of the People of God and that is the key
He now has a particular relationship with God Himself because he was brought into the Chosen People of God
This is something incredibly similar
All the stuff in the Old Covenant is now fulfilled in the New Covenant
If you were Baptized, you now have this individual personal relationship with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
It is unique and infinite
It is also infinitely unique
At the same time, that relationship is there because now you are a part of the Body of Christ, the Church
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND!!
It is PERSONAL
IT IS NOT PRIVATE!!
Just like sin
Sin is personal but it is not private
Because we belong to each other, none of our sins are private
Even the secret ones
They are communal because we belong to each other
Paragraph 1267 says, “‘For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.’”
THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
It also gives us a lot of responsibilities
Paragraph 1269 says, “From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to ‘obey and submit’ to the Church’s leaders, holding them in respect and affection.”
This is what it is to be part of the Christian faith
Although Catholics have maintained and held onto this, this is not just for Catholics
If you are going to be a believer and hold onto the belief that Jesus Christ has truly died, is truly Risen, and truly sits at the right hand of the Father, it means you adhere to the Apostles and what they believed
From now on, your life is not your own life
This is the massive expectation for every single believer since the very very beginning
Paragraph 1269 continues, “Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished by the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.”
We are going to hear this later on about the Sacrament of Confession
Priests are OBLIGED to hear ANYONE’S Confession
It can’t be an unreasonable request
The Church says the priests are OBLIGED to hear someone’s Confession ANY TIME THEY ASK within reason
Because one of the rights of being Catholic is to receive the Sacraments
All of these things are massively important
Paragraph 1270 says, “‘Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church’ and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.’”
When was the last time you have professed before others the faith you have received from God through the Church? 🤔 🤔
Have there been any times in conversation where you normally would say something about believing in Jesus Christ and His Church but you held something back?
If you are part of the Church…
If you have been made new by Baptism…
If you have been given the grace of the Holy Spirit…
If you are now an adopted son or daughter of God…
Then you MUST PROFESS BEFORE MEN the faith you have received from God through the Church
Participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God
We can look at our world and wonder what happened when it comes to a loss of faith and morals and belief in God?
Not just about what the leaders have done wrong although that is important
The only level you can influence directly is YOUR OWN LEVEL
Have you professed before others the faith you have received?
Have you participated in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God?
What have you done?
If you have abdicated…
If you have said that it’s just a professional’s job…
Then you are part of the problem…
Sometimes the statement is accurate
If you haven’t done anything, then you are part of the problem
This isn’t about condemning you
You have been given a DIGNITY
Paragraph 1271 says, “Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: ‘For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers [and sisters] by the children of the Catholic Church.’ ‘Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn.’”
THEY ARE FULLY CHRISTIAN
People ask what if someone is baptized but not baptized Catholic? Do we accept that Baptism?
They are not re-baptized after that
That is a REAL BAPTISM
It is really effective
It really changed them into God’s sons and daughters
We are TRULY brothers and sisters even if we have an imperfect relationship with each other
AN INDELIBLE SPIRITUAL MARK…
Once you are Baptized, you are Baptized FOREVER
You belong to Christ FOREVER
No sin can erase this mark
Even if sin does prevent a person from experiencing the fruits of salvation, there is no sin that can UNDO OUR BAPTISM
There is no sin that can make it so the God who adopted us will abandon us
NO SIN CAN EVER DO THAT!!
We can CHOOSE not to live in the Father’s House
Remember the Parable of the Prodigal Son?
The older son leaves but comes back
He did not HAVE to come back
He could have died feeding the pigs
You know the parable right?
If he died feeding the pigs, he would have died as a son of the Father
He would not have ceased being a son to the Father
He would have died OUTSIDE THE FATHER’S HOUSE
The same is true for US
We will ALWAYS be sons and daughters of God our Father
NO SIN CAN ERASE THAT!!
NO AMOUNT OF SAYING WE DON’T WANT THAT ANYMORE CAN ERASE THAT!!
IT IS AN INDELIBLE SPIRITUAL MARK!!
At the same time, we have to CHOOSE to live inside the Father’s House
We choose to live OUTSIDE the Father’s House
We have to choose to live in the Father’s WILL
We choose to live OUTSIDE the Father’s WILL
There is this INDELIBLE SPIRITUAL MARK that has been placed on us if we have been Baptized
IT IS A GIFT!!
IT IS A GIFT THAT WE HAVE TO USE!!
God says, “You belong in my family. You belong in my home. You belong in my house. It is your house too!!”
We have to CHOOSE to live there
That’s not always easy
Professing our faith before others and participating in the apostolic missionary activity of the Church is not easy
So what do we need?
WE NEED GRACE!!
WE NEED PRAYERS!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!