When an infant is clothed with the white baptismal garment, the priest or deacon prays: “You have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.” (Rite of Baptism for Children, 99).
At Jesus’ baptism a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:16). He did not become a new creation, as we do. However, people had a new awareness of who he was, God’s beloved Son. When we are baptized, we become God’s adopted sons and daughters. Baptism clothes us with Christ. We are to bring the Christian dignity of that garment unstained into everlasting life. Titus directs us in how to do that. We are to live with self-control, growing in biblical justice, that is, right relationship with God and one another. We are to be people of prayer and devotion or holiness, to which every baptized person is called, no matter our state in life or lifestyle. By being holy, we fill the world with the comfort, tenderness, and care about which Isaiah speaks. The mountains, valleys, rough edges, and winding paths that can hinder us or make it difficult for us to trust God’s ways are removed. And the glory of God is revealed when we find light in darkness, courage in fear, hope in despair, and life in the various deaths each day can bring. With family and friends to help us, or by helping them, we see God’s beloved presence in our midst.
Thanks to Laurie Brink, O.P. and Paul Colloton, O.S.F.S.