Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time - 15th October 2017
These days young couples ask for their children to be baptised for a variety of reasons. Initially, it's clear that for some, baptism is an elaborate naming ceremony, or the ritual preliminaries to having a ‘we've had a baby party’. For others, while they don't quite know why they want baptism, they just know they do. And for some parents it's clear that they wish to pass on to their children the life of Christ that has nurtured them.
At the baptismal ceremony, I always begin by saying that for the first three centuries of the Church's history, this sacrament was celebrated at dawn on the Easter Vigil not only because the rising sun symbolised Christ's light dawning in our lives, but because baptism was always done in secret. For 300 years Christians who took the waters of baptism at dawn could be dead by lunchtime. For them, baptism was no social day out; it was a life and death commitment.