Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Each year as the Christmas season closes we recog- nize the beginning of Our Lord’s active ministry with this feast. Liturgically speaking, the march through ordinary time now begins. You can see the parallel between this feast of the Baptism of the Lord and our own Christian lives. Our Lord begins his work of es- tablishing the Kingdom of God and its ministry with His baptism just as our own baptism begins our work for the Kingdom of God.
There are two extremes to be avoided regard- ing the sacrament of baptism. They could be de- scribed as overemphasizing the effects of baptism and underemphasizing the effects of baptism. One could overemphasize the effects of baptism by declaring that the sacrament needs no catechesis to make the person strong as a Christian. While one is certainly a Christian following baptism, the strength of that per- son’s witness to the faith is complemented by the learning and study of the Word of God.
The second extreme to be avoided in regard to the sacrament of baptism is underemphasizing the ef- fects of the sacrament. It is an error for parents to ne- glect the baptism of their children. Parents of faith are the ordinary way in which God has deigned to pass down the faith to new generations. In this way, children are incorporated not only into the family of the home but also into the family of God.