Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics baptize... so we may be priests like Jesus.

Easter is a great time to remember our own baptism. Baptism isn't just a one-time event but is a source of grace that we can draw from continuously. Part of that grace is being incorporated into Christ by being a priest, prophet and king in his footsteps.

Each of the baptized is called to the priesthood of Jesus (called the “common priesthood” since it's common to all the baptized as opposed to the “ministerial priesthood of the ordained). Priests have two essential tasks; to offer sacrifice and to be conduits of grace to the world. While this is obvious in ordained priests offering the sacrifice of the Mass and participating in dispensing God's grace in the Sacraments, all the baptized are called to be priestly as well.

Our priesthood is lived out by offering our lives as sacrifice by the way we choose to live. Being a Christian requires carrying some cross and choosing a way of life that devoted to God's will and not our own.. This can take any number of forms but can be summed up in the virtues of faith, hope, and love.

When we choose faith, hope, and love in our lives we act on our baptismal grace, because it's God's grace that allows us and prompts us to choose the good. Not only do we make ourselves a sacrifice but living lives of virtue also allows God to pour further grace into the world. Baptismal grace is limitless but receiving and using it is a learned skill. The more we use it the greater our capacity to receive it becomes.

When we live lives of faith, hope, and love we become changed by God's grace and we also change the world around us. Look at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta or Blessed John Paul II. Look at Pope Francis and the shockwaves his humble love is sending through the world! Through our baptism we have been called to participate in pouring God's grace on the world; let's take that responsibility seriously.

That Jesus wants us to share in his priesthood is yet another reason Catholics baptize.

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