Prior to his untimely death in a road accident on January 3, Father David Hudgins penned an article for publication today, the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, in his parish bulletin at Saint Joseph Shrine in Brooklyn. Here it is, reproduced for you.
The Baptism of the Lord and our Baptism: Do You Know Who You Are? by Father David Hudgins
You have been given this grace, a gloriously incomprehensible gift of God beyond all human merit: adoption into the family of God…the Church. You have been configured to Christ’s death and resurrection. You have put on Christ and been renewed in the Holy Spirit. God has given you the grace of justification, gifts of faith, hope and love, and the spiritual power to act with virtue.
You participate in the divine life of the Blessed Trinity. Who God Is, flows through your veins. You belong to Christ. You are a new creation, a child of God, a partaker of the divine nature, a co-heir with Jesus. You share in the common priestly, prophetic and royal “Christ-life” of all believers. You have been sealed with an indelible character: configuration to Christ.
This is your seal of eternal life. Only sin can warp God’s masterpiece, and even then He can and will restore you, if you wish. If we keep this covenant until the end, remaining faithful to Jesus, we can hope to see God and share in the resurrection and the life of the world to come. As a member of Christ’s Body, your connection to Him and to other Christians runs deeper than culture, gender, race, social status, even blood. The bond of unity you share with other Christians is more profound than any human bond.
You have been baptized.
Jesus said, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ (Matthew 28:19) Baptism is an act of Jesus our High Priest through the power of the Holy Spirit by which sons and daughters of Adam become Sons and Daughters of God.
Thankfully, the sacraments do not rely on human understanding. If we needed perfect understanding for God to work in our lives then He could do nothing with us since all His works are infinite and beyond full human comprehension.
We give good things to our children. Baptism is a divine favor that will transform us for all eternity, therefore we must baptize infants. I was baptized when I was 25 days old. Children don’t have perfect understanding, neither do I. However, Jesus acts in their hearts, in my heart, and in the hearts of us all through this powerful sacrament. Let us give Him thanks and praise for it.
Very Reverend David Hudgins