From the Desk of  Deacon Sylvanus Sunny Offorjebe

God Shows No Partiality

In second Reading on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Apostle  Peter in his opening statement in the house of Cornelius declared “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality, Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. (Acts 10:34).  

In November 2018, I did the Holy Land pilgrimage and while there , the Jordan River, the place of the baptism of Jesus and on  arriving there, I saw so many people especially Christians of many denominations, expressing their faith by immersing themselves in the River Jordan. So many were singing as they were being Baptized and so many were renewing their Baptismal promises inside the river- Catholics and non-Catholics of the Christian Faith.! It was remarkable to witness  such sense of belonging and sharing in the one common faith in Jesus Christ.  At that point I realized more deeply how unifying the Sacrament of Baptism really is for all Christians.  Baptism is our most ecumenical sacrament.  If a Lutheran wants to be a Catholic or a Catholic joins the Greek Orthodox Community, he or she is not re-baptized.  Generally, then , this sacrament unites almost all the world ‘s Christians in Christ Jesus.  This is what it should be because the baptism of the Lord  tells us that all Christ’s followers should be united in celebrating baptism and no one can take away the Christian dignity bestowed upon them by these saving waters. 

The Catholic rite of baptism uses actions and words that extend back to the birth of our faith.  For infant baptism , we begin by asking the parents  what name they have chosen for their Child.  It is often a revelation as to the Child’s personality or the parents  expression of their faith, hope and dreams for their Child. The Baptismal rites prefigure the processes the child may make in receiving other six Sacraments.

A  good prayer today for all baptized could be  that we keep claiming our Christian dignity by how we choose to spend our lives .