A TALK TO GODPARENTS
by Fr. Michael J. Buben
Pious Godparents! Through the mercy of Our Lord and Savior who came to save that which was lost, we have again completed the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Jesus Christ in a talk with Nicodemus had this to say about the Mystery of Baptism: “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” (St. John 3:5).
Three years after his statement Our Lord had completed all the works needed for Our Salvation. He was Crucified, buried, and by rising from the dead, annihilated all the powers of Satan. Before His Ascension Christ triumphantly proclaimed to the Apostles and more than 500 other faithful: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you;” (St. Matthew 28:19-20).
Obeying this commandment, I have just completed the spiritual birth of this child by water and the Name of the All-Holy Trinity. When you accepted him from the font, you became his spiritual parents for all time. Until this baptism he was clothed in darkness, — by baptism he became a child to light. Until today there hovered over him the polluted stream which traces it source to Original Sin. Now he becomes a beloved son to the grace of God.
Yes, let us now rejoice for a new member has been added to our Orthodox Church. For you the spiritual mother and father, there should be greater joy today than for the rest of us. This new born Christian, this child to the grace of God, this new leaf in the vineyard of Christ is your own spiritual son.
But do you realize the great obligation and duties which this calling brings your way? I would like to talk to you about your holy and spiritual obligations. Your joy tells me that it’s not necessary to remind you that from this day forth you should love this child as you would love your own born. When he reaches the age of reason and understanding, then you will begin overseeing his learning the fundamentals of our Holy Orthodox Catholic Faith. Teach him to fear God, but with love and faith follow His commandments for this is the whole duty of man. Lead him in the path of righteousness that as a good leaf he may never wither and fall from the Faith; and that whatsoever he does may prosper and be added to his treasury of good works.
This youngsters — enlightened through baptism for the remission of sin is given to you with hope that he always be as clean as when he was taken from the font: that he at last might stand clean before the Dread Judgment Seat of Christ, who shall reward each soul according to its faith and good works.
Through your lips, the newly baptised has renounced Satan and all his angels and all his works. Through your lips, he has confessed the Orthodox Creed and bowed down to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Through your lips, he has spit upon the devil. Your direction will direct his path. If he in life treads the straight and narrow, you both shall have a reward.
Today we also Sealed this child with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. This Chrismation gives him strength from God to become nourished in spiritual growth. No one can ever take away this Seal. He is a member of the Orthodox Church forever. If he follows the teaching of the Orthodox Church, baptism and confirmation will always bring abundant blessings. If he ever leaves the Orthodox Church to follow some other Church organization or in any way becomes disloyal or unfaithful to Orthodoxy, then he shall scorn these sacraments and bring shame upon himself and his kindred of which you now join.
Pray always with all your heart that he may be faithful to the end. And let us all always pray that the entire world speedily becomes Orthodox that all men and every race may be blessed with the Truth and Peace of Christ.
From Word Magazine
Publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
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