Do you honour your faith and the promises made at baptism, first communion and confirmation? During the beginning of the Church, people believed that you only had one baptism, one chance to be reconciled and forgiven of your sins. Many decided not to become baptized until they'd lived a full life, which would have been sinful, and then would seek baptism and reconciliation at the end. It's interesting to think how much we take for granted in our modern world. In our current time, the door is always open for confession, we constantly reaffirm our belief and promises made at baptism. We are constantly receiving God's grace and blessing in our lives, yet so many don't seek it, are lead astray from going to mass and seeking God. It's sad to think about, though in realizing this fact, maybe it's possible to bring more people back to the mass.
Today's Gospel states:'And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" And he answered, "No." They said to him then, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing'(John 1:19-28).
In today's Gospel we hear how even though we are baptized, we are still not worthy to call ourselves people of God. Only Christ has this honour. In order for us to be given God's grace, Christ takes our place and brings redemption, love. Through baptism, we affirm this belief, and again at first communion, and even later at confirmation. Each time you attend mass, you also speak truth, declare your belief in the Apostles Creed. Take some time to reflect on areas where you could better affirm your faith, whether that be making a plan to attend mass more, or making more time for prayer.
Today's prayer comes from 'Rocky Mountain District' a prayer of affirmation:
I thank You Father that Jesus came to baptize me with the Holy Spirit and with fire. I am glad that I pressed on to receive the Spirit’s fullness that brings cleansing and power to live the holy life. My carnal self has been crucified with Christ and I have received the Holy Spirit by faith so that I am free of the old self. I have become a new creation in Christ where the old has passed and the new self has come. In this new self I am dependent on the Holy Spirit; and I now live in the provision made for me to live above sin. This walk of faith allows me to put off selfishness, fear, weakness, and lusts of the flesh so that I can put on love, courage, strength and righteousness, purity and honesty. This freedom in Christ allows me to be a living sacrifice transformed by the renewing of my mind; so, that I can walk in all the fullness of Your will for me today. I choose that this continued commitment on my part allow me to walk in the likeness of Jesus Christ. He is my Redeemer and Sanctifier by His blood and resurrection. Amen.