By Lindsay Schlegel
Today, I become a godparent for the third time. When my sister-in-law told me the date of the baptism, I thought of it as the day before Memorial Day. I didn’t realize it was also celebrated (by some diocese) as the Feast of the Ascension.
How beautiful that as we welcome the newest member of the Church home today, we’ll hear these words, “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.”
As we celebrate this special day with one child in our family, I encourage us all to remember that this commission goes beyond babies and into every sphere of our lives. We are the light of the world, and we are called to share that light.
We Can’t Forget Our Baptism
This year hasn’t been what any of us expected, but our call remains the same. As baptized faithful, we are to go out to all the world, to make disciples of the nations, and to baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity—even if the “going out” part has been less literal than we’d like.
The last few months have been the most surreal I’ve experienced, and there were times of fear, doubt, and sadness. More often than not, I felt that I didn’t understand what was going on around me. The news reports seemed unreal; the statistics given at times, unfathomable.
What in the world—literally the whole world—was going on?
The anchor that held me in place and helped me through was the faith I have in God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a grace gifted me through my baptism. Each person of the Trinity calls to me in a different way.
The Blessed Trinity
The Father. In recent years, I’ve come to better appreciate God’s fatherly love for me. I know I am His daughter and that I am not alone in anything. I’m not in charge, and I should stop believing the culture’s lie that I ought to be. When I let go of that, I experience peace and true freedom.
The Son. I believe and trust that Christ is with me in all things—he’s “in the boat” with us at all times. In His life on earth, He promised to always be there for me, to love me and to redeem me. There’s not much to be afraid of when I really give myself over to that.
The Holy Spirit. In the day-to-day, I can call on the Holy Spirit for inspiration and guidance. The presence of God is not a thing of the past; it’s a reality of the right now. When I invest time and generous energy in my spiritual life, I (typically) feel closer to the Lord and more confident in the purpose laid out for me.
It’s in living these certainties, these truths, that I can begin to make disciples, starting in my home. I believe, as Christians, we are called to live in a way that, because of what lies at the center of our lives, is attractive and compelling. That’s what we renew today.
Bringing Baptism to Others
When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He told his disciples (basically), “Stay put. I have a gift to give you in a few days.” This gift was the Holy Spirit, and many were baptized that day, “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak.”
Perhaps many of us can relate to the sadness and ache that Jesus’ disciples felt when He left them and ascended to the Father. Maybe you are experiencing the pain of living without Jesus as once accustomed as you desire for the Lord in the sacraments. I assume I am not alone when I’ve found myself in tears as I virtually participate in the Mass from my living room.
But we are never alone. We have the Three Persons of our One God to accompany us, to love us, to redeem us, to care for us in ways we can’t even put into words. Our Savior is truly “the one who fills all things in every way.”
His presence in our hearts and our lives is a gift. We are called today, through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and the grace of the Father, to share that with the whole world.
Let’s start small and live today with hope and confidence that our God loves us and wants to be right beside us through everything. Let’s let that knowledge take hold of us and inspire us to be open to His movement in our lives. And then let’s pray that our actions inspire others, so that they, too, will see God in the movements of the every day.
Today, I’m promising to help guide this sweet little one into this powerful Truth. As perfect as this child is, there is still a place that needs to be filled within, and that can only be filled with God. May the love of our God bless this child—and you—today and all the days to come.
About the author:
Lindsay Schlegel is a daughter of God who seeks to encourage, inspire, and lift others up to be all they were created to be. Lindsay is a writer (Don’t Forget to Say Thank You), editor, speaker, author, and podcast host. She lives in New Jersey with her family and would love to connect at lindsayschlegel.com.