Augustus, Sofia and Callie (ASC) were baptized by me. Actually, I mean these three were baptized by the gathered Catholic community at an early 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. Sebastian Church in Milwaukee.
Young with attentive eyes staring up at me while I pour water on their growing hairs, three times; one for each person of the Trinity. Parents and Godparents beam with joy as I place the oil on the crown of their heads proclaiming them to be “priests, prophets and kings.” Their beautiful white garments are then acknowledged with the word, “dignity” brought at a far off date unstained into the eternal Kingdom.
We all offer a welcoming clap and then we are re-sprinkled to remind ourselves of what we may have forgotten after thirty, forty or eighty years.
Baptized. These three are now free from that leafy-clothed couple that haunts and under-scores our whole religious lives. (I thought an “apple a day keeps the doctor away!”) Baptized now and soon to be living in a world that few of us will witness.
President Trump (first time I put those two words together) will become a historical footnote, a fluke, unless he messes up which I will be around to witness. Will ASC ever hear a revolving record skip or having to switch car gears from one to two and then three and then to four for a smoother ride? Will they even have self-driven cars when they reach twenty years old?
ASC will never wait for a neighbor to finish a telephone call before making their own. They perhaps will only touch their chests to activate the implant to receive an incoming telephone call (and see the person their talking to in their glasses.) ASC will probably never wait for a bus, replaced with some super-studded transport system. ASC will not need to take their shoes off at the airport because newer disasters will lead to newer measures.
The “first Black president and “first woman president” will be incidentals to them because so many have come and gone since our time. How many churches will remain for them to choose from is a question that only time will solve but I suspect that the Roman one will remain in some shape or form.
ASC will need to care for their parents as their parents cared for them. Nursing homes during their time will look much more like a golf resort. Or worse still, collective housing in a far off corner of your hometown or worse still medical methods will be common place to ease suffering and of course rid ourselves of those aged appendages.
Will there still be “Third World” countries, named by us who live in the First? Will “food for the world” finally become a reality for them since we don’t do it now when we can? Will “I Love Lucy” still be playing every minute of every day somewhere in the world?
ASC will not remember this day at all, only what their parents will tell them at this anniversary. “You were so cute and you didn’t cry,” will be repeated until ASC thinks they actually remember it. But baptism did happen for three unsuspecting children on a sunny but cool November day in a Milwaukee Catholic Church. The baptism was performed by a priest whose name will escape the parents which I don’t mind. “Who was that masked man?” has always been my priestly mantra.
Mothers bore them and the Church blesses them as only both of the “she’s” can. The mothers will nourish and the Church will teach or is that the Church will nourish and the moms will teach or is it a bit of both, combined?
In 1930, 40 or 50 how many of us were commissioned to be a “priest, prophet, king,” each in our own way, for the way of our times. Priest: honoring the “now” of any time as sacred; Prophet: an open eye and ear to what the future may be because of what happens in this “now;” King: to serve the least among us and be conscious always about the common good of all.
Tall orders for three infants wondering why there’s water sprinkled on their heads in the early morning and a tall order for us tall people who felt the same sprinkling and assumed the same responsibilities.
(Being good Catholics when time is more important than prayer, three baptisms, great sermon and the 8:00 a.m. Mass ended at 9:02.)
books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS, available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon:
“Living Life’s Mysteries”
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings”
A Great Gift Idea
A new book by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.
Available at Amazon.com
Paperback or Kindle is $14.95. Enjoyable reading.