This is the title sometimes given to Baptism. It is a deeply meaningful title that reminds us that baptism opens the way for the other Sacraments and, without it, the other Sacraments cannot be celebrated. It is then, in truth, the way into Sacramental Life and Union with Christ. As such it is a very important step and one not lightly taken. We might do well this weekend to give some thought to our Baptism and, for those among us, who have had children baptized, some thought to how we have followed through on that initial step.
The only reason to open a gate is to gain access to a place otherwise off limits. If we cross the gate or get around it in some other way we are, it’s fair to say, trespassers.
We are not called to trespass but rather to move freely in a place left open to and for us. It is then important that we acknowledge this “open gate” and express gratitude for it through our response to the freedom of travel – the “right of way” offered to us.
When we were baptized our parents and sponsors took on responsibility to hand on the Faith to us in word and fact. This was to be done through good example, bringing us to Church, teaching us our prayers, helping the school in its Sacramental preparations for our First Penance, Holy Communion, Confirmation etc. They were to teach us of “God Our Father, Christ our Brother and the Holy Spirit”. Today we acknowledge the efforts they made to do this and so much more for us all. As parents now yourselves, the question is being posed “How are you doing?” Chances are, if you’re reading this bulletin, you’re not doing too badly. You are in Church with your family and continuing to answer the call to hand on the Faith in the home. May God bless you in that and more.
If, for any reason, there’s been a bit of slippage on the Practice of the Faith, this is surely a good day to re-commit and, as a New Year begins, to renew every effort and to bring to the fore what is certainly good within.
The Church isn’t intended to be a place for the lukewarm but rather a place warmed and refreshed by the lived Faith of its people. We are those people! The gateway has been opened to us. We are not trespassing.