Discussion starters for exploring our first sacrament
Belonging. Everyone, regardless of age, needs it. Hungers for it. Sometimes does ridiculous, dangerous, or unhealthy things to get it. It makes sense — God created us to be in relationship.
God … in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. (CCC, 1; emphasis added)
Baptism, though it is a Sacrament of Initiation, is also a sacrament of ultimate belonging. Consider the following:
Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. (CCC, 1272; emphasis added)
We belong so much that we can’t un-belong, even if we choose to reject God’s offer of salvation. Exploring this belonging with your teens can help Baptism become more than something their parents chose for them when they were babies.
Here are some questions to use to explore paragraph 1272 of the Catechism with your teens:
■ What does indelible mean? Why do you think this word was chosen to describe what happens at Baptism?
■ Consider what it means to belong to a club, a team, a cast, a group of any kind with a specific purpose. How does that belonging affect what you do?
■ What does it mean to belong to Christ? How can/should this affect how you live?
■ What happens to your mark if you sin? What happens to your belonging if you sin?
■ What is meant by “even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation”?
Finish your time by reading the baptismal vows their parents spoke for them. Take time between each vow to reflect on what each one means. For example:
- Do you reject Satan?
a. Who is Satan?
b. Why must I reject him?
- And all his works?
a. Where do I see him trying to work in my life?
b. Where do I see him working in the world around me?
- And all his empty promises?
a. Are there promises Satan has made that I have knowingly or unknowingly accepted?
b. If so, name them and reject them.
Offering our teens a broader and more permanent sense of belonging can speak to a very real need with which they all wrestle. Clubs, teams, and casts all shift and change and even end. Belonging shifts, but our belonging to Christ by the indelible mark of our Baptism is just that — indelible.
Becky Groth a writer for ODB Films.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, September 2019.
PHOTO: CC-2.0 DIOCESE OF ARUNDEL & BRIGHTON: Easter Vigil at the church of the Sacred Heart in Hove, Brighton, England