Psalm 29 this Sunday is majestic, especially in the poetics of the original Hebrew’s sound and word plays. The psalm emphasizes the blessing over the baptismal water with the hovering over of the priest’s hands and descending to the surface of the water. Note the very first line also, “Give to the Lord, ou sons of God.” In baptism we are born again and become children of God; another baptismal prayer speaks of us as priests, prophets, and kings, all of which roles are oriented toward evangelization. This language points to the fact that every Christian is engaged in the rule, catechesis, and sanctification of the Church, and by extension — the world. By the way, the only document one really needs (besides all the recommendations and certifications of psychological wholeness) is one’s baptismal certificate.

This catechesis is exactly what St. Peter launches into in the house of the centurion, Cornelius. Peter repeats the kerygma yet one more time. I think there are at least a dozen times in the opening chapters of Acts where the kerygma is to be found. Why is it that the modern Catholic, including clergy, haven’t the faintest clue what the kerygme is, when is it the fundamental, core faith statement? No wonder there’s so little application of this template to one’s life. Baptism has become something like a mere merit badge in scouting or an “A” at the end of a semester.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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