At Mass one Sunday a while ago, our congregation was blessed to witness an infant Baptism. The family; a father, a young daughter and a mother holding her infant, approached the baptismal font with very intent looks on their faces. Clearly this family understood the importance of this moment. It was the beginning of their son’s life in Christ not just a ceremony to enjoy with the new baby.
As the priest prayed asking the parents questions, the mother nodded her head in agreement with regard to her responsibilities to her son. She listened so intently that it was almost as if she was holding onto every word to savor later. Their small daughter stood with the family fascinated and curious as she watched everything happening. The father never took his eyes off of his wife and then I noticed tears were welling up in his eyes. His love, as he gazed upon his family, was evident to the congregation. The mother was at the center of all of this, making sure to lead her new child off on his Christian mission in the proper way.
As we approach the season of Advent, I thought about this day once again. I usually think of Mary and Joseph terrified about raising the Son of God rather than as a young family looking forward to this responsibility. Witnessing this baptism with this particular holy family made me think of The Holy Family in a very different light. It is difficult to imagine the love shared between The Holy Family and God on the night of Jesus birth. The night when heaven came to earth.
I felt honored to witness this baptism. I was glad to welcome a new member of our congregation and to experience the love present within this family. I am not sure I have ever felt so fully engaged in a liturgy before. Seeing this family made me so thankful to God for his life on earth and the salvation he brings to us. For me, it was a moment of grace, a moment when I was so in union with the community and with God that I couldn’t help but see all things in a different light; making is easier to understand what really happens Through the Open Doors.
Father, as we approach this Advent season, let us celebrate each member of our family with the love of you shared with us when you sent your Son. May we prepare our families for this blessed day with faith and relish in the hope that you desire for each of us during this blessed season.
COMING SOON: How is your family preparing for the birth of Christ?