On Good Friday, Jesus died for us. On Easter, he rose to new life and he promises a share in the new life in his Father’s kingdom to all who believe in him. We enter into that new life in baptism. For most of us as Catholics, we are baptized as little children but in the early church baptism of adults was common practice as people converted to the “new” Christian faith. Over time, whole families were baptized and slowly the baptism of children become the normal practice to ensure the little ones would share in the new life Christ has won for us.
Even today, we still receive adults into the church. At our Easter Vigil last night, our pastor baptized one man into our Catholic faith and received another man baptized in another Christian denomination into our Catholic faith. I have had the pleasure of working with the second man this year to help him learn about what our faith teaches and believes. So, it was with joy that I watched as he was received into our Catholic faith.
We need faith in our world today. We live in our world where faith of any sort is on the decline. Without faith, how can we have hope?
Why are people turning away from faith? I think there are at least two reasons. One, some think science explains everything and that any notion of God is outdated. To them, God was a human invention to explain what they did not understand. This does not mean all people of science do not believe. I have a background in engineering and I know several engineers who are very active in their faith. I have also read books by Rev. John Polkinghorne who is an Anglican priest but spent 25 years as a quantum physicst before his ordination. He says the science of quantum physics actually pointed him to God.
The second reason I think people are turning away from faith is that they want to be able to do whatever they want. I opened saying Jesus offers eternal life in his Father’ s kingdom to all who believe in him. If we believe in him, then we will strive to live as he calls us. Is it easy? No, at times we fail in sin. That’s why Jesus died for us!
We have hope because we know that Jesus died and rose for us.