Do you remember that big new item a few years back? There were a group of Italians, who had renounced their association with the Church and with their Baptism, who requested their names be removed from the Baptismal register. We live in really weird times. The parents and grandparents of these poor souls would be broken hearted.
It all ties in the the them of Blessed John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI: “Europe is losing it’s soul!” Indeed it is, along with America and most other westernized nations. We have renounced our Christian roots for a new secular humanist religion. It’s the religion of whatever pleases me for the moment.
The root of it all is that we have lost our identity! Identity is so important. It is important for a priest to know he is a priest and what that means and for the baptized to know they are baptized and all that entails. The days are gone by when people identified themselves by their religion.
In this weekends second reading, St. Paul makes an important point that fits right into this who discussion. “The gifts and call of God are irrevocable.” Once you belong to God, there is no turning back. You can abandon the Lord, but He won’t abandon you!
The Church teaches us this important truth in the reception of three Sacraments. There are three sacraments in which there is an indelible mark placed upon the soul. Baptism Confirmation and Holy Orders seals a person for all eternity. When a person receives each of these three Sacraments, they receive and indelible mark upon their soul that sets them apart for all eternity. Once a person is Baptized, Confirmed or Ordained, they can never repeat that sacrament again. As the old saying goes, “Ones a priest, always a priest.”
We can burn all of the baptismal records in the world, and even renounce our baptism, yet we are marked for all eternity. Despite our infidelity, God is always faithful and never takes back His promises.