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THE DAY WE BECAME HIS FAMILY
Baptism of the Lord
Many Filipinos are conscious of dates, important calendar events that mark milestones in their lives.  We do not allow birthdays to pass without either a grand or subtle celebration.  We become sentimental when wedding anniversaries come and romantic when “month-saries” are recalled. 
As Christians, do we remember, do we even celebrate, our baptismal day?  The most important day for a Christian is not his First Communion or his wedding or his Confirmation but the day of his Baptism. Do you even know when you were baptized?  That needs a little investigation work.
Baptism is the day we belonged to God with an unbreakable bond.  Baptism is the sacrament, the sacred ritual, that flung wide open the doors of the church, our spiritual family, so that we could enter.  In this simple celebration of faith, God and our families and friends offered to us the means of salvation, even as we were infants unknowingly participating in the motions of the event.  Today we know that a child must be initiated with this sacrament to bring him close to the heart of the Lord and of his people.
The model of our baptism is none other than Jesus the Lord.  Though Jesus did not need baptism to remove sins, since he was sinless, nor to establish a relationship with God, since he is one with him from eternity, Jesus went through the humble gesture of baptism like the rest of the people around John the Baptist (Luke 3). Why?  The answer is simple:  to identify himself as God’s Son so that his mission could begin.
The first reading (Is. 40) introduces to us the vital role of the Messiah from God.  He will rule with a strong arm.  He will be a shepherd tending his flock with tenderness and leading them to life. Paul in writing to Titus (2 and 3) reminds us how we have been saved and renewed by the cleansing waters made holy through our Savior Jesus Christ. This is the reason why the church always taught the necessity of baptism for salvation.
In our personal lives, are we aware that since our baptism, since we became known as Christians, we are also identified as children of the Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus, and filled with God’s Spirit?  Are we aware that since that day our mission in life has begun?   Many people live their lives in total loss of direction, without zest for life, deprived of vision and hope for today and for the future. No Christian needs to live like this.  In baptism, like Jesus, we have been entrusted a relationship with God and a task to perform for the world that awaits our love.
Maybe we don’t remember our baptismal anniversary, but whenever we pray the Creed, whenever we dip our fingers on the holy water font, whenever we are sprinkled with holy water – we recall our baptism, the day we entered God’s family.  It is not only a past event.  For us, it is a daily celebration. For we have been called to be like Jesus and given power to change the world around us.  Christian, remember your dignity!  Live your baptism!