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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Baptismal Homily

Today, Jesus has said, “Let Robert come to me; do not prevent him” and Robert has come. As Jesus embraced and blessed the children, we will embrace and bless him in Jesus’ name. We will lay our hands on him and will send him forth to reveal to us the Kingdom of God. From this day forward, the Kingdom belongs to him.

What do we mean we must accept the Kingdom of God like a child? Does it mean that we must be trusting like a child? Yes, we must be trusting but Robert, God has also given you a mind to develop and use to judge wisely between the good and the bad. So be trusting but not gullible. Indeed as you grow you will be asked to give reasons for your faith.

Does it mean that we must be totally dependent upon God as a child is totally dependent? Yes, we must remember that we are totally dependent upon God and that our successes are not as a result of our efforts alone. I emphasize alone, because while we are dependent upon God – God also has given us gifts and talents to use in making our world better. Robert, as Nelson Mandela has said, “We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us…Your playing small does not serve the World.”

Does it mean that we must be totally obedient to God? Yes, in trusting that God only desires our good, we should be obedient to following his will especially in the difficult and troubling times of our lives. But being obedient to God does not mean blind obedience to others, even when they speak in the name of God. Along with obedience, Robert, you must also have the courage to speak out against injustice and come to the aid of the oppressed.

So, what does it mean to accept the Kingdom of God like a child? It means that entering the kingdom does not come about through intellectual reasoning, natural talent, or the ability to think for ourselves. It comes through trust and dependence and obedience. But if we enter the kingdom of God as a child, once we enter the kingdom we grow to adulthood through the use of our talents, the development of our wisdom, and the acceptance of responsibility we have to others. As Saint Paul says, when we are children we talk and think and reason as a child, but when we become adults we have to behave as adults.

For we who have already accepted the Kingdom – Robert’s parents and his Church, it means that we must help Robert to discover his talents, to acquire the knowledge to use his talents well, the ability to bring the Kingdom of God to expression in the world in new and wondrous ways.

The Kingdom of God belongs to Robert Johnathan and it will not be kept from him.


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