01-08-2023The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

In the early days of the church Baptism was a declaration that the believer was definitely identifying with that group of people who were called Christians and were often despised and hated.

To be a Christian meant taking a leap of Faith. To identify yourself with those who were called Christians meant persecution, maybe death; it meant being ostracized from your family and shunned by friends. Finally, the one act which was the final declaration of this identification was Baptism.

As long as a persons socialized with Christians, they were tolerated, but when they submitted to Baptism, they declared to all the world, I BELONG TO THIS DESPISED GROUP, and immediately they were persecuted, hated, despised and often murdered. In baptism, therefore, the believer entered into the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ.

Someone might be a believer and keep it strictly a secret and thus avoid unpleasantness and suffering, but once a person submitted to Baptism she or he had burned their bridges to the pagan world behind them.

The early Christians prayed and did not lose heart.