To be or not to be?

Jan 11, 2019

This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. St. Luke tells us that "as the people were in expectation and everyone thought that perhaps John the Baptist was the Messiah, John took them out of doubt, saying:" It is true that I baptize with water, but There comes another more powerful than me, who I do not deserve to untie the straps of his sandals, he will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire". It happened that among the people who were baptized, Jesus was also baptized. While he prayed, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a sensitive way, like a dove, and from heaven a voice came saying: "You are my Son, the beloved, in you I am pleased" (Lc 3 ).

Jesus is baptized to resemble us in everything, not for any other reason. What happens when we are baptized? The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that: "by Baptism we are freed from sin and regenerated as children of God, we become members of the Church, and participate in its mission." In the beginnings of Christianity, the first men and women who decided to believe and live according to the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, were known as "the followers of the Way" (Acts of the Apostles 9, 2). These people excelled for their lifestyle in their own environments; therefore, some recognized that "what is the soul in the body, that was the Christians in the world" (Letter to Diognetus).

It is one thing to be Christians and quite another to live as Christians, and this is where the great problem of our existence as Christians starts: we are Christians by God's grace, but it is a personal decision to live as a true Christian, which means believe in the Person of Jesus, and live according to his teachings. During the Second Vatican Council, the Church warned all Christians about "the separation between the faith they profess and the daily life of many as one of the most serious errors of our time." San Oscar Arnulfo Romero, taught that "a Christianity of Sunday Mass, but unfair weeks does not please the Lord. A Christianity of much prayer, but with hypocrisy in the heart, is not Christianity ".

At the beginning of a new year, when we plan to carry out some personal, family, or community projects, it is important that we propose to live as better Christians, because it is not enough to be Catholic Christians, but it is necessary to decide to live each day as better Christians. There are millions of Christians around the world who belong to the Catholic Church; however, there exists countless situations that continue to destroy human life even before birth, the family, the environment, society, and the Church itself. Faced with this reality, many Christians remain as indifferent spectators, that is, they do not care what happens around them; or they are limited only to blaming others for the negative issues happens in the world. The question that really matters is:

Am I willing to live as a true follower of Jesus of Nazareth, or will I continue to conform only to being one more baptized in the Church?

Father Marco