The Baptism of the Lord
By Father Dennis Meinen
View from the scooter
My Sacraments of Initiation at a young age. A few years ago I wrote to the pastor of the church where I was baptized and asked him to send me my Sacramental records. Why? I think it is a good idea to know your Sacramental history and proudly display it. I found that I was born on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 1951 at 6:30pm, a month premature, ruining my mother’s supper. Maybe that’s why I can’t recall ever having a healthy-filling evening meal on Tuesday.
Something else happened that day. At that time, America was at the height of the Red Scare and Paul Harvey (The Rest of the Story) had been criticizing the Federal government's perceived poor security. In order to bolster his allegations, based on a tip from a guard at the Argonne National Laboratory, he attempted to infiltrate the lab. He enlisted the aid of the guard who had given him the tip.
On Feb. 6, 1951, he and his partners went to the perimeter of the lab around 1:00 a.m. Harvey climbed over the fence but his overcoat caught on the barb-wire that topped the fence. While he was trying to extricate himself, a security patrol found and apprehended him, turning him over to the FBI. Eventually, a grand jury cleared him of all charges. I was obviously born into a time of danger and intrigue.
Even though I was born a month early, I weighed 7 lbs.
• I must not have been bad enough to be baptized in the hospital so I wasn’t baptized till Sunday, Feb. 25, 1951.
• On Sunday, Oct. 19, 1958, when I was eight years old, I made my First Communion on the Feast Day of the North American Martyrs. (More danger and intrigue and torture.)
• On Feb. 28, 1960 I was Confirmed by Bishop Joseph Maximilian Mueller. Confirmation is the completion of the Sacraments of Initiation, but at 9 years of age I was about to witness another miracle –The miracle on ice. The American hockey team beat the Soviet Union hockey team. Which events were more important to me? Read 1 Corinthians 13: 11 - 13 “ When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways.”
Today, we see Jesus in His early thirties coming to John, His cousin, to be baptized. As He came from the water the Spirit of God descended, like a dove, and the voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased". God said that to us too when we were baptized. Can we truly appreciate the wonderful gift of Baptism? Or are we still in our childhood?