Jeremiah 1:5

Brothers and Sisters,

One of my favorite things to do is to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism.  Whether I am baptizing a small child, an elderly person, or anyone aged in between, I can tell you that it is always a special moment.  Not only did our baptism make each of us Christians, but the sacrament also gives us a job to do.

From the Rite of Baptism:

God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has freed you of sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into His hole people.  He now anoints you with the Chrism of salvation.  As Christ was anointed priest, prophet, and king, may you live always as a member of His body, sharing everlasting life.

That is the proclamation made as the newly baptized person is anointed with the Holy Oil.  You might recall that the title “Christ” is an ancient Greek word that translated into English means “anointed One.”  The act of anointing someone is the preferred ancient way of formally contracting and authorizing someone for a sacred duty or role.

Christ, Who is God the Son, was anointed by God the Father to be the One who would begin the Church and its missionary work on Earth.  When you were baptized, you also were connected to this very same job.  You also were contracted and authorized to bring the Holy Faith to everyone in your life.  We have our weekly Eucharist to give us the strength to be brave Christians in the world, we have the Sacrament of Confession to patch up our spiritual wounds when we make sinful choices, and we have our own daily prayers to keep our internal conscious on the right track.

Believe me, I am talking about you.  I am talking about all of us who are baptized.  I wonder what you will come up with when you think creatively about what this might look like in your life.  Here’s some things that I thought would be fun, just to get the ball rolling:

  • Invite friends over to celebrate the birthday of a saint that is important to you (maybe you were a fan of Saint John Paul II or pick a patron saint)
  • Use the Saint Olaf website to find the daily Mass readings and read through them on your lunchbreak at school or work
  • Check out the list of saints who were celebrate this week and have each member of your family or circle of friends look into one of them to share with the rest of the group

These may sound goofy.  I think that they are fun ways to get us started as missionaries.

God be near,

Father Jeremy