ColumnsNaming Grace


After our granddaughter’s baptism, one person commented on the beauty of the service. I agreed wholeheartedly, “The baptism was wonderful.” He walked on. In my heart, I responded: “Actually, it was more than a beautiful service. Baptism is everything! It’s the dying and rising in Christ. It’s salvation. What could be more important? What could be more worthwhile for any child? Isn’t this the entire point of life — to share in God’s life? We treasure our faith as it’s the core of life!” At baptism, each parent has been entrusted to pass on this beautiful faith in Jesus Christ to their children.

Those who believe, see; they see a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star that never sets (“Lumen Fidei”, 1).

Faith. This Sunday’s readings are all about faith — the faith of Abraham and all those throughout the ages. In a culture that glorifies death and violence, it’s hard to have faith. And yet faith — only faith — sustains one for a lifetime. Faith believes God walks with us and is for us. Faith believes God works all things for good. Faith understands man and woman as created by God — sacred, infinitely and unconditionally loved. Faith believes what God has promised will be fulfilled. Faith believes evil never has the final word: through Christ’s death and resurrection, love conquers fear, hope overcomes despair, life rises from any death. Faith believes — despite all contrary evidence — life is worth living.

Faith “offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane (“Joy of the Gospel”, 10).

I pray our granddaughter, whose baptismal name is Sophia, will wisely “see” life through a different lens, a higher plane, a greater reality, with heaven as our true home. I pray she rises above the pebbles of pettiness, the mud of mediocrity, the boulders of bullying, the wasteland of consumerism. I pray she sees life as a beautiful journey of loving God, others and herself.

Faith is not a light that scatters all our darkness, but a lamp that guides us in the night and suffices for the journey (“Lumen Fidei,” 57).

I pray Sophia follows the light of Christ, which leads to love, life and wholeness. I pray when she suffers from confusion, loneliness, discouragement or fear, she follows Christ’s lamp guiding her to wise voices, good counsel, loving family and a community of faith.

“Let us not make faith an abstract theory where doubts multiply. Rather, let us make faith our life. Let us try to practice it in the service of our brothers, especially the neediest” (Pope Francis, 09-21-16).

I pray Sophia will learn to serve others and, in that, have her faith fortified. I pray she’ll gladly help a classmate, invite a neighbor child who is lonely, serve those less fortunate, and be thankful for all she has been given.

“[Baptism] is always a free gift for everyone, adults and newborns. But as happens for a seed full of life, this gift takes root and bears fruit in earth fed by faith (Pope Francis, 04-11-18).

Having a child is a game-changer. Much more is at stake. As parents, they have been entrusted with the soul of their child. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” I’m thankful Sophia was baptized, and I pray her parents will pass on the treasure of our faith in Jesus Christ. Now, that’s good news!

As parents, how are you living out the promises at baptism?

What difference has faith made in your life?

Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To connect with Mary Pedersen: