Baptism: Born Again. Born from Above. Born of the Spirit.
Fr. Ed Benioff - Added on Thursday, July 24, 2014



I’m sure you celebrate your birthday — or at least you did before you stopped counting.


But do you celebrate your Baptism? You really should, because that’s the day when you were born for a better life. You were born of water and Spirit. You were born from above, born again, borne for heaven (see John 3:3-8).


In Baptism we are born again to become what Jesus is. He took up our human nature so that we might share his divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). He wants us to “be like him” (1 John 3:1).


On the day of our Baptism we received the ultimate gift. We could never achieve or receive anything to rival eternal life. All other gifts are passing. They wear out. They fall short. They run down. They expire.


Only God’s life is eternal. Only God possesses true power. Yet he places it all at our disposal when we are baptized. When we emerge from the waters, we have the greatest superpowers, and we don’t need to duck into a phone booth or put on a cape in order to activate them.


In Baptism we live with the life of Jesus. We live in Christ, and Christ lives in us. As Saint Paul said: “all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).


And so we pray with his intercessory power. We go to the Father as Jesus would go. With Jesus’ power, we can speak words that heal souls. We can love people in a way that changes their lives. Baptism is the sacrament of our salvation. Jesus has “saved us through the bath of rebirth” (see Titus 3:5-7).


That’s good reason to celebrate — and we should celebrate.


How? Well, we should often call upon the grace of the sacrament.  The grace is always there, as long as we remain free of grave sin, but it helps for us to remind ourselves of who we are and what God has made of us. It helps for us to remember the divine life and power he has given us to be our own.


Whenever we use holy water, we are celebrating the memory of our Baptism. We bless ourselves with water, just as we did on that day. We make the Sign of the Cross, and we invoke the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we do this, we are marking the day of our birth into supernatural life.


Some people also mark the date on the calendar and celebrate it as a holiday every year. They make a special dinner, or go out with friends. They recite the creed or renew their baptismal vows.


Pope Saint John Paul II said that everyone should take up this practice. “We should celebrate the day of our Baptism as we do our birthday!” he said. “But how many of the baptized are fully aware of what they have received? “


Are you and I as aware as we should be?


Do you know the date of your Baptism? How can you find out? And how will you celebrate?

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