Monday, December 29, 2014
Reflection: Luke 2:22-35
In today’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple and present Him to Simeon. It was a Jewish law and custom to take a newborn child to the temple. In this reading, we get a sense of one of the important rituals of Jewish life: presenting a newborn child in the temple.
As Catholics in this day and age, we also present a newborn child to God and the Church when we bring the child to be baptized. Baptism is not simply a ritual. In this day and age, the sacrament of Baptism continues the long tradition of the presentation of the child to God and to the Church. It is a sacred act and a transforming experience.
If you are a parent, do you remember your child’s baptism? Was the reception of this Sacrament meaningful to you? Or was it simply “something to do” because it was expected? Hopefully, your child’s baptism was a sacred and joyful experience for you and your family.
Ritual is a gift. However, for ritual to be a sacred gift (and not simply an action), we need to be fully present and aware of what is taking place. It can be so easy to go through the motions, yet not be mindful of the sacredness of the act.
Once we receive the grace and gift of Baptism, we will never be the same! The Baptism cannot be undone! Today, I invite you to reflect on the gift of your baptism. Do you experience it as a gift or as simply a gesture or a ritual? What do you want your Baptism to mean in your life?