The practice of renewing baptismal promises at Easter is essential for those who take the stewardship of their faith seriously. It focuses the steward’s attention on answering Christ’s call to follow after him, proclaiming his Gospel in word and deed, putting the Eucharist into action, building up the communion of faith, and sharing Christ’s peace with a broken world.
Renewing our baptismal promises and the baptismal focus of holy water is most compelling at the Easter Vigil where the sprinkling is directly connected to the renewal of promises. The use of holy water compels us to reflect on our baptism, calls us back to our central identity as Catholic Christians, and strengthens us anew “as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:10).
The baptismal water of Easter performs a twofold purpose. It baptizes the catechumens and it refreshes our covenant with God in Christ through the renewal of our baptismal promises. It “seals” our resolve to follow Jesus more closely.
Many who say they are Catholic desire to live their lives as if Jesus was still in the tomb. But he is not. Christ has risen and is present among us, calling us each day to follow after him and radiate his example onto the world. Living our baptismal promises inspires us to be good stewards of God’s plan as individuals and as a Eucharistic community in the 21st century.
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