Well, brothers and sisters, my name is Fr. Joseph J. Krupp and I’m currently assigned to St. Gerard Catholic Church in Lansing. I have been asked to write a question and answer column for FAITH Magazine. That rocks! I’m honored and will do my best to answer any questions you have for me. And, if I don’t know the answer, don’t worry – I will make something up and it will sound gooooood.
Why do Catholics baptize babies into the faith? Why not wait until adulthood?
Primarily because, as Catholics, we recognize that adults are generally far too heavy to immerse in the baptismal font. All right, maybe that’s not why. Try this one on for size – as Catholics we believe that baptism initiates the baby into the family of Jesus Christ and turns their hearts toward God. We want children to recognize that God, our Father, desires to enter into every element of their lives from infancy until the moment of death. Other faiths choose to baptize adults because of the importance in choosing Christ for themselves. Catholics value that, too, and that’s why we offer Confirmation during the teenage years. Keep baptizing those babies! What better way to bring up baby than knowing he or she is part of a loving, giving family that we call Church.
A little while ago, a friend of mine told me a story he heard about a guy trying to get rid of an old toilet. You know, getting rid of an old toilet isn’t simply a matter of putting it out to the road. The guys who collect the garbage apparently don’t want THAT kind of trash in their truck. So, what do you do? He had a great idea. He went to the mall, got a box for a big screen television and put the toilet in the box. He put the box on the back of his truck and went into the mall for an hour or so. When he got back, it was gone. Cool stuff, television boxes.
Believe it or not, our faith can be the same way. It’s supposed to address every area of our lives but often we don’t know what to do with it. Instead, we package our faith as something it isn’t – like superstition, good feelings or habit. We package it as anything but what it is – an invitation from a loving God. What happens then?
Someone comes and steals it away and we think we have lost our faith. The good news is that God never loses faith in us and He constantly reaches out to us. He wants us with Him. It’s that simple. Let’s spend our lives responding to this call.
Enjoy another day in God’s presence.