Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Death of Baptism
Last weekend, my niece Jenny and I were blessed to attend a “Lord Have Mercy” Conference here in our Archdiocese. We were so excited to hear words of wisdom from wonderful speakers Dr. Scott Hahn and Matthew Kelly. Yes, they were both wonderful, but even better, in fact, FAR better, was our own dear Archbishop Listecki. His homily at the opening Mass was OUTSTANDING! I’m hoping to find a copy of it somewhere, but in the meantime, I want to share some of his opening remarks with you. I wish I had a video of it to share, because the expression on his face and in his voice really made his words stand out, but for now, I offer you my memory of his words.
While presiding at an immersion baptism, then Fr. Listecki, lifted the naked little boy up and…(“No, mothers, it’s not what you’re thinking! No, mothers, that didn’t happen!”)... just as he was about to lower the babe into the waters of baptism, his four-year-old sister called out loudly “Don’t do it Father! Don’t drown him!”
Of everyone at that baptism, including the adults, it was that little girl who got it right. Everyone was looking at that baptism as a removal of original sin and a welcoming into the church, but that little girl, she saw it for what it really was…a death. Baptism is a death to the old life and a birth to new life in Christ. It was only the four-year-old who could really see that.
Cast aside my fear of death, Lord.
Wash me in Your Holy Water and cleanse me for new life in You.
Refresh my soul so that all I will feel is Your life within me. Amen.