15th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 15th July 2018
Reflecting on Our Baptism Baptism expresses the wonder and the faithfulness of our God and the beauty of our being.
What Happens in Our Baptism?
As we know, through baptism the original guilt of the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve is wiped away. God adopts us as His children and calls each by name and says, ‘you are mine, my beloved, my favour rests on you’, and God’s divine life is given to us. God’s love is poured into our hearts so that we can now call and know Him as Our Father (Rm 5:5). Having been adopted as children, we become members of His body, the Church, journeying and sharing our hopes consolations and sorrows together. We become new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and share in the threefold ministry of Christ, as priest, king and prophet.
What It Means for Us
It then follows that, in our baptism, it is God who generously acts and takes the initiative, in so far as our interior disposition is necessary for the fruitfulness of this act of love. God’s eternal love, which had always had us in Mind, now comes to embrace us in our baptism. We are washed in the blood of the Lamb and the fire of His Love is ‘reignited’ in our hearts.
God Draws Us into His Eternal Love
In baptism, the eternal, inexpressible and unutterable love that had always awaited us ‘finds’ us. This love anticipates our need for God, so that we will learn to seek, love and call on the one who had already found and loved us first, and had already called us by name. Therefore, the whole of our Christian life is a response to God's gratuitous love which cannot be merited nor earned by any human act since it is beyond our reach. Rather the ‘contemplation’ of so great a love impels us to love the one who had already loved us unconditionally even before we were born, and now pledges His eternal love to us in our baptism. Describing God’s eternal love that has always awaited us, St. Paul will say in the second reading of this Sunday that in Christ “we are claimed as God’s own, chosen from ‘the beginning’ and have been stamped by the seal of the Holy Spirit… the pledge of our inheritance.
A Love That Never Ends
This is God anticipating our deepest desire to rest in His love, not just during our baptism but indeed in every circumstance of our lives. God’s eternal love goes ahead of us to anticipate all our hearts’ desires. Indeed, happy are those whose God is our God.
Rev. Chinedu CM