Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baptism and Social Mission

Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciples was issued last year by the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As noted in the previous post, it is “for all Catholics who seek to better understand the connections between the celebration of the sacraments and our social mission as followers of Jesus and members of the Body of Christ.”

In that post, we looked at the Eucharist. Today, we look at baptism. Here are some excerpts from the document:
During the rite of Baptism, we reject sin, renouncing those beliefs, values, and choices that are opposed to Christ. We also reject sinful attitudes that degrade the dignity of others (e.g., racism, sexism, etc.) and practices that prevent other members of our human family from living in dignity (e.g., abortion, policies that hurt the poor, etc.). Baptism calls us to reject death and embrace life and dignity for all.
. . .
Christians believe that “Baptism does not take [the baptized] from the world at all.” Instead, the world becomes the “place” and “means” for the lay faithful to “fulfill their Christian vocation” (Christifideles Laici, no. 15).
. . .
The baptized work within the spheres of “work, culture, science and research; the exercise of social, economic and political responsibilities” to order them to the Kingdom (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 543).

The baptized are called to contribute to the sanctification of the world. Being “present and active in the world” is a “theological and ecclesiological reality” (Compendium, no. 543). This reality is  what leads us to work to protect the life and dignity of all people and to care for God’s creation here on earth.
What is the connection between your baptism and work to protect the life and dignity of every person?

[Next: Confirmation]

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