Our Baptismal Faith Should Influence Daily Living

Manila Bulletin, January 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

Our Baptismal Faith Should Influence Daily Living


HIS Sunday we commemorate the baptism of the Lord. When the Lord waded down the River Jordan and was baptized by John, the sacrament of baptism was inaugurated.

It is to the immense credit of Christian parents that they take to heart the baptism of their children.

* * *

It seems, however, that many baptized kids grow up grossly ignorant of religious instructions and their obligations as Christians. In effect, they turn out to be Christians in name only or so-called KBL (Kasal, Binyag, Libing) Christians. Or, as someone put it, Christians who come to church only three times in their whole lifetime when they are hatched, matched, dispatched to the cemetery or memorial garden, that is.

* * *

One time three pastors were discussing about bat infestation in their churches. I got so mad, said one, I took a shotgun and fired at them. Some got killed but the majority are still up there.

I tried pesticide spray, said the second pastor, but those damn bats gave birth to new ones.

I havent had any more problems, said the third pastor.

What did you do? asked the interested two.

I simply baptized them, he replied. I havent seen them in church since!

* * *

Indeed, like those bats, after baptism many Christians are never seen in church again.

The theologian Bernard Cooke in his book Christian Sacraments and Christian Personality writes: Our baptism is not an action which happens once and has no further significance for our life. Rather, all the significance of this sacrament passes dynamically into the daily living of the Christian.

* * *

In other words, it is not enough for us just to accept baptism passively or as something done to us. We must also allow it to become an operative power impelling us to act as Christ did.

The absence of this operative power of baptism engenders a piety thats split between faith and practice in day-to-day life.

* * *

For instance, we pride ourselves as the only Christian country in Asia yet ironically we have a high level of graft and corruption in the government and in business. …

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