Renewing Our Baptismal Promises

During the Easter Vigil Mass, which many of us will attend this evening, we will renew our Baptismal vows. We can treat it as a rote exercise, or we can really reflect on what those promises mean.

A number of years ago, William Reiser, S.J., posed a number of questions for us to ponder that help deepen our appreciation of what it is we are renewing. They are worth considering today.

Do you accept Jesus as your teacher, as the example whom you will always imitate and as the one in whom the mystery of God’s love for the world has been fully revealed?

Do you dedicate yourself to seeking the kingdom of God and God’s justice, to praying daily, to mediating on the Gospels and to celebrating the Eucharist faithfully and devoutly?

Do you commit yourself to that spirit of poverty and detachment that Jesus enjoined on His disciples, and to resisting that spirit of consumerism and materialism that is so strong in our culture?

Do you accept your responsibility for building community, for being people of compassion and reconciliation, for being mindful of those who are poor and oppressed, and for truly forgiving those who have offended you?

Will you try to thank and praise God by your works and by your actions, in times of prosperity as well as in moments of suffering, giving loyal witness to the risen Jesus by your faith, by your hope and by the style of your living?

Do you surrender your lives to God as disciples and companions of Jesus?  Do you believe that God is Lord of history, sovereign over nations and peoples, and that God’s promise to redeem all of creation from its bondage to death and decay will one day be accomplished?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting?

                                       (William E. Reiser America 1986)                        

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