On the day of the Baptisms of all of my three boys, it was such a flurry of activity. Getting ourselves dressed, getting the boys dressed and packing up baptismal gowns, coordinating with everyone so they knew what time it started and where to go when they got to the Church. And then, prepping for the reception afterwards. Each child was held over the baptismal font and cried as water cascaded over their heads and oils were placed on their forehead… and then it was over as soon as it began.
I have some friends that do an incredible job of remembering and celebrating their children’s baptism dates. Every time I see evidence on social media of such celebrations, I think “We should really do that.” But admittedly, I have not.
The Church, however, in her wisdom reminds us each year on this Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus was not baptized as a baby, but I think of the image of Jesus being baptized by John in the Jordan when I remember the sound of the water hitting each of my children’s foreheads and the eruption of their cries. I think of this image because it reminds me of the connection my sons have to Him. It reminds me of the connection we all have to Him.
Celebrations of events like Jesus’s baptism remind me of His humanity. The Son of God being baptized by another human being. Water hitting Him as it hit each of us, blessing abounding in Him as it abounds in each of us. Grace overflowing.
All of my sons have a birthday this weekend. I will soon have two five year olds and a seven year old. Time is certainly flying by. And as they age, like most parents, a part of me tries to hold onto the years that have come and gone… a part of me wants to hold onto the connections we have now before they need me a little less.
But I can also hold in my heart that I, too, am connected to them through the waters of Baptism. One day, long before I could remember it, water also fell onto my forehead and cries probably escaped my lips.
Today, as the Church celebrates the Baptism of the Lord, let us celebrate our own unity in water and in life.