I used to lead an RCIA session on baptism, where I would bring in my Kermit the Frog toy from when I was a child and pretend to baptize it. It was a session I especially made sure I led when we had children preparing for Easter sacraments. You would think Kermit would have become super holy having been baptized so many times, year after year. But, if he had been real, he would not have been any holier due to multiple baptisms than he was after the first baptism. He couldn’t be re-baptized. (Not to mention, of course, he is a FROG.)
When Jesus came to John for baptism, he transformed the baptism of repentance that John was practicing into a baptism of redemption. And although we are called to repentance over and over in our life, redemption comes to us only once. We cannot get baptized again in the Jordan or Sea of Galilee because of romantic notions, or come into the Catholic Church by a second baptism so we can start all over. Our baptism, whether we can remember it or not, is a one-time deal. But it is the real deal. Whether you feel it or not, you are sealed for Christ, and the stain of original sin has been washed away.
Too many of us take that moment for granted. Yes, you may have been baptized as an infant. But much time has passed since then, and you can work to understand the impact that it had on your life. We sometimes look for a good time to begin living a stewardship way of life. However, that time already passed, and God has been waiting. We are called to reflect on our baptism and respond to the call it has placed on our lives. We can respond and be disciples, or we can be like Kermit the Frog, always searching for a new start that never comes.
—Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS