“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” Acts 2:38-39
I was baptized August 10, 1975, about a month after I was born. My parents wanted me to grow up with the traditions they had grown up with as a Catholic child, baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation. They started attending church regularly when I was 7 and sent my sisters and I to a Catholic school. We said grace before most meals and went to church every Sunday as I was growing up. They encouraged me to attend youth group and a youth Bible study in high school.
Yet, it was not until the summer of 1993 that everything came together for me. When I was 16, I met Jeff, my youth director. He made everything I had learned from my parents, Catholic school, and church come together for me. He made Jesus real to me in the life he lived and the words he preached. I had never before experienced someone so in love with Jesus and His Word. Jeff had passion for what he believed and he lived it out. In August 1993, I went to Denver, Colorado to see Pope John Paul the 2nd.. On the way home from this trip I made a decision to commit my life to Jesus. I took the faith my parents had passed onto me and made it my own. After 18 years I was now able to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit who had dwelt in my heart from August 10, 1975.
I now have a child of my own. He was baptized on Easter Sunday, 2007. I know that the Holy Spirit dwells in my son’s heart. My prayer is that he, too will one day respond as I did and commit his life to Jesus. Until then I know it’s my responsibility to show him Jesus in the daily life that I live. To show him what it means to look to Jesus for forgiveness, mercy, guidance, and purpose and to choose to turn away from sin, not to escape punishment, but to show my commitment to Jesus Christ.
We thank You, Lord God, for Your many gifts, and especially that of Baptism into your Church. Amen.