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South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

An Ecumenical Ministry in St. Patrick's Catholic Parish

Thursday, January 9, 2020

In Divine Love We Have Been Baptized

In Divine Love We Have Been Baptized

One of the most memorable baptisms I have ministered at our parish, was the baptism of a baby born to parents from the Basque region in Spain. The parents explained to me beforehand that in their regional Basque Catholic culture, parents read a letter to their child during the baptism ceremony. They asked me if I would allow the practice, and I gladly accepted.

The letter said something along these lines: “Welcome to the world! We love you, and God has graced us with you. Your whole life lies ahead of you. We do not know what kind of personality you will develop, but we are so grateful to be your parents, to see you grow, and surround you with love. We wish you much happiness, but we know that at times there will be sadness and loss. Amid all that makes life a reality, plumb its depths and know that from today onwards, life eternal is your gift. Return always to your loving savior, in whom today and always you will be found. Remember that God delights in you.”

I’ve done my best to convey the beauty of that letter, because I forgot the exact words. The parents knew that the eternal love of God in Jesus Christ was about to flood the life of their child. While they wished the child well, the letter also was realistic about possible unknown challenges ahead. Yet there was so much faith and hope, because they knew that God had chosen their child for a holy life on earth, and for an eternal life of boundless joy in heaven.

If the letter carried throughout a motif, it was perhaps that of gift. The child was a gift, their parental love was a gift, and the boundless love of God was a gift. This last one, the love of God, is a gift available to us all.

On this Sunday, as we end the Christmas season by celebrating the Baptism of Jesus, we celebrate that in Jesus Christ the love of God has been revealed to us, and that we have begun to partake of it from the moment of our own baptism.

God bless, Fr. Carlos, OSA

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