Today, I had the joy of witnessing the baptism of a friend's baby. I remember when Cathy told me she was expecting. There was a note of caution in her voice and reservation because she had miscarried many, many times in a row before conceiving this baby girl. Then, toward the end of the pregnancy, there were complications and times we all worried about the baby, about the mother. Would they make it to this day? But they did; they made it and beautifully so. I kissed baby Bernadette after she was baptized and smelled the sweet perfume of the Holy chrism.
Later, I caught the scent again on my own skin. Baby Bernadette must have passed it on to me when I kissed her. It reminded me how appropriate this baptismal symbol is to the life of grace. Every soul is a vessel for God's love and grace and when we come into contact with one another, we have the opportunity to pass a bit of that grace on. Today, baby Bernadette joined the body of Christ and blessed us all with the sweet smell of God's abundant mercy and saving grace. Welcome, little one, and thank you.