All baptized Christians have been given access to the power to put to death sin and temptation in their lives! This is the Good News of salvation! Why then do we find our lives still captive to the powers of sin? The simple answer to this is that we do not surrender our lives to the grace that God offers us through the Sacrament of Baptism. One of the main reasons for this is that many Christians have no idea as to the significance of the Sacrament in their lives. Baptism seems to be more of an opportunity for a party and a few photos rather than a life commitment to live a Christian life!

If we buy a new electrical appliance we diligently read the manual before operating it if we do not know how to use it. The same should be the case with our faith. Much of the essence of our faith relates to concepts based in the grace of God working in our lives. This means that each of us has a responsibility to seek to understand what this means for us. The Church’s pastors or shepherds also have a responsibility to try and ensure that this information is made available to all in a form that is accessible to all people.

The truth regarding the victory over sin that we receive in Baptism is one that grows and develops in our consciousness as we seek to grow in faith and holiness. A responsible Christian will seek to grow daily in this understanding by making the effort to form his or her faith through reading the Scriptures and studying the teachings of the Church. We cannot expect to absorb such truths by osmosis or expect to be fully informed through homilies on a Sunday. Each of us must take responsibility for our own formation as a disciple and be proactive in finding means by which we can grow in faith.

A corollary to this responsibility of the individual is the responsibility that the Church has to ensure that its ministers are providing the necessary means at their disposal regarding the formation of those for whom they have pastoral care responsibilities. Parishes should be providing courses that explain the faith of the Church to its parishioners. This is the responsibility of the Parish Priest! Maybe parishes can work together to provide this service; maybe the diocese will provide suitable courses. Whatever happens, the bottom line is that such formation opportunities should be made available to all by one means or another.

When was the last time that I sought out a course to further my understanding of my faith? Do I take proper responsibility for this area of my life?

Holy Spirit, come into my life in a deeper way and lead me into the truth about salvation. Convince me of the need for ongoing formation and help me to find the means by which to get it. Grant me the grace to set aside time for this important aspect of my life of faith.