xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Peters: Holy Spirit is with all baptized children, helps guide them

Within the Catholic calendar, we have entered a unique period of time that exists between Christmas and the beginning of Lent. There are many feast days that recognize important events leading up to Christ’s ministry, and most Sunday Gospel passages describe how he made his presence known.

Last weekend was the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, celebrating when John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. John was a prophet who prepared the people for Christ’s coming, and Jesus’s presence turned the baptism into something greater. This is an extremely important moment, and one weekend is not enough to capture it.

Advertisement

This weekend, the Gospel reading describes John’s response to the baptism and what it means for the world. In particular, John 1:33-34 has him explain, “the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.””

Not only is Christ made known but the Holy Spirit too, and the Holy Trinity is revealed to all people. Unlike in Matthew’s depiction, the focus is not on Baptism or its relationship to the Epiphany or revelation of Christ but on the unity of the Trinity itself.

Advertisement

While it would take until Pentecost until the Apostles and Disciples would understand the importance of the Holy Spirit, his presence at Jesus’s Baptism reinforces how he is connected to all ministry that is done in God’s name. Thus, the Holy Spirit is guiding Christians from the moment of their Baptism, and their individual ministries begin earlier than one may expect.

We should keep this in mind, especially when we interact with and educate children. Once Baptized, they are part of the Christian ministry, and they should be guided to ensure that they recognize their role. Too often, we turn a blind eye to childish tomfoolery, bullying, and worse, because we believe that they are mere children and that is what children do. Too often, we spoil children, fail to correct them, and condition them into embracing selfishness.

But we, as caretakers of children, are called not only to protect them due to their age but also to aid everyone in spreading the word of Christ. If we fail to guide them to virtue, then we too share in their sin.

Thus, we are obligated to teach children to treat each other with respect and love, to consider the feelings and emotions of others, and to strive to do the right thing at all times. This is easier to accomplish when we help them recognize that the Holy Spirit is with them and can guide them into making the right choices.

As we prepare for the coming of Lent, we need to recognize our obligation in supporting all of the baptized embrace a culture of love. Otherwise, we fail to follow Christ’s command and fail to recognize the importance of baptism as a whole.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement