Baptism is the first sacrament we receive.  In fact, it is baptism that makes us Christians.

In the Acts of the Apostles 8:26-40, Saint Phillip meets an important government official who is attempting to understand the Bible.  This government official was trying to understand Isaiah 53:7-8 but admits that without a teacher he cannot understand on his own.  Saint Phillip then tells the government official about Christ and evangelizes him.  Once the government official understood that Christ had fulfilled the prophecy and is the Son of God, he asked Saint Phillip to baptize him.

It’s remarkable that Saint Phillip, an apostle, was brave enough to proclaim Christ to someone that he didn’t even know.  This is a big part of the grace of baptism – that we are given the mission to bring others to Jesus Christ.  The Lord himself told us to do so after the Resurrection, saying “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” (Matthew 28:19).  Bringing others to Christ is a big part of parenting; this is why parents bring their children to the Church for baptism.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that no one can earn, deserve, or merit baptism because baptism itself is a gift from Christ (CCC 1282).  While the parents and godparents proclaim the Faith on behalf of the child, they promise to raise the child to know, love, and serve Almighty God.

Whether baptized as an infant, adolescent, or adult, baptism gives us the grace and strength to be able to be Christians in the world.  It is our task to use this strength to help others come to Christ in His Holy Church.