Today is an extraordinary day for Val, a Year 8 boy at our parish school. Because today Val is taking a special step of faith. He will receive the sacrament of baptism during the 10.30am Mass.
And being washed in the waters of baptism, he will be made part of God’s family in the Catholic Church. Then for the first time, Val will step forward at Communion time to receive the breath-taking gift of the Body of Christ.
His own proud family gather around him today, but when he walks out the doors of the church at the end of this Mass he knows that he will belong to an even greater family, a family that spans every century, every culture, and every language. We are a community of saints and sinners – there’s room for everyone.
By ourselves in this life we are weak; we are vulnerable to being swept along with the tide of passing fashions in human thinking. But through baptism we are united with Christ himself. The Lord always calls us back to meditate on the suffering, death and glorious resurrection of Jesus his Son. We expect to see this same pattern in our own lives, so that when hard times come, we are never afraid. And the gifts and joys of this life become amazing ‘tastes’ of the resurrection which Jesus experienced on Easter morning.
Congratulations Val. This day is a particular blessing for you – but actually it’s a blessing for us too. Together with the angels and saints, we praise God and pray that the Lord will keep you safe and strong in the future He has planned for you.
Let’s pray together that more families will be moved to have those not yet baptised receive this mighty gift from the Lord himself.
Father Simon Eccleton