Monday, January 11, 2016

What it Would Mean to Come Out as Baptized in '16

To come out as baptized would be
to affirm and actualize my deepest identity.

More valuable than perfectly matched powerball numbers, Baptism confers upon each and every Christian an inheritance of infinite worth.

Just as no one chooses to be born, so no one chooses to be baptized.  Baptism is first and foremost a gift from the Lord Jesus himself; it is the prior and primary grace to which we respond throughout the course of our Christian lives.  It is a new beginning to which each of us is carried--one way or another--by the love of those around us. 

To come out as baptized would be
to transform all other dimensions of my life in light of this gift.

Grafted onto the Mystical Body of Christ, our baptismal dignity should elevate all of our other interests and allegiances, casting them in a supernatural light.  The ethnic, cultural, and familial ties that bind; the political, economic, and sexual dimensions of our lives--all should be in-formed and re-formed by our new life in Christ. 

To live our baptismal call is to experience a synthesis and integration of our very selves into a new and irrevocable identity, as brothers and sisters in the Son.

To come out as baptized would be
to embrace a real communion with two billion followers of Jesus around the world.

Authentic diversity always affirms a deeper unity; individuality flourishes not in isolation but in various networks of interrelation.  We exist as a communion of persons here and now, and so we aspire not to impose a way of life on others, but to invite all people to know the eternal Communion of Persons.

To come out as baptized would be
to live a lifestyle centered on imitation of Christ

Baptism confers a unique mission on each person claimed by Christ, and the Lord delivers with it the appropriate charisms of the Holy Spirit.  Baptism creates a living and breathing bond of connection with the mystery of Trinitarian Love. 

The mission of the baptized consists in transforming the world with and through this Love.  It means willing the good of the Other before self.  It means letting Christ live in us, so that others might have life more abundantly through Him.

To come out as baptized would be
to hear the Father call us beloved sons and daughters "with whom I am well pleased."