I’ve always had a slight obsession with celebrating special dates. Whether that’s meant going out for an anniversary dinner with my husband, sending a birthday present to a family member, or eating a favorite dessert on a Saint’s feast day, whatever the reason, I’ve celebrated. One day, though, that I’ve ignored these past 28 years has been my Baptism. I thought that it happened sometime in June 1989, so last October I finally decided to call my mom to learn more.
It was June 11, 1989, and like most Sundays, she prepared a pot of her famous chicken noodle soup to serve after the Baptism. She dressed me in the same white gown that my dad and brothers had worn with the exception of a pink ribbon she pinned on the collar to “make it more girly.” The ceremony took place after one of the morning Masses, and just like that I was baptized.
In today’s Gospel we read about Jesus’ Baptism which sounds like an epic scene from an action movie. Can you imagine the heavens tearing open, the Spirit descending like a dove, and the voice of God booming from the heavens as Jesus rose out of the water? (Mark 1:7-11) Just thinking about it gives me the chills! Christ’s baptism opened up the heavens that had been closed by Adam’s sin. Our own Baptism allows us to enter into Christ’s death and resurrection, and by the waters of our Baptism we have been freed from original sin. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 536-37)
The date of our Baptism, as Pope Francis mentioned in his General Audience, January 2014, is one that deserves our full attention. “To know the date of our Baptism is to know a blessed day. The danger of not knowing it is losing awareness of what the Lord has done in us, the memory of the gift we have received.” (source)
And so my challenge to you today is to celebrate your Baptism. Follow the advice of Pope Francis, and if you are like me and unsure of when you were baptized, talk to someone who might know: your parents, godparents, siblings, or someone from the church where you were baptized. Celebrate the day that you became a child of God and member of the Church—it is a day worth celebrating.
Light a candle today and offer a prayer of thanksgiving for your birth into the Church.
Joan Geiger is a North Dakota native and newlywed, and in her spare time she can be found going on adventures with her husband, working as a Registered Dietitian, and drinking coffee. You can find out more about her here.