Where Is Your Baptism?

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya

Where Is Your Baptism?

Beloved in Christ, 

This Friday is the Feast of Annunciation, when we remember the angel Gabriel’s encounter with Mary announcing she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. While it is a remarkable moment, it is also entirely consistent with how God acts throughout the scriptures. God almost always calls the ordinary, chooses the unlikely, enlists the seemingly unimportant as the primary agents of the most important moments. Mary, young, poor, and on the wrong side of the empire, only seems surprising if you don’t know your Bible. 

God’s word is announced to Mary, and Mary announces that word to the world. That, at the end of the day, is our vocation as followers of Jesus: to so deeply and thoroughly receive God’s word of hope, of love, of peace and justice, that we announce that same word with every moment of our lives. We are blessed so we can be a blessing, we are loved so that we can love, we are gifted so that we can give. 

Friday is also the commemoration of Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of El Salvador who was martyred in 1980, while celebrating the Eucharist, for his advocacy of the poor and dispossessed during his country’s civil war. Like Mary, he received God’s word of love and announced that word in the moment to which he called. One of my favorite quotes from this great saint summarizes the ongoing mystery of the Annunciation for all of us:  “Each one of you has to be God’s microphone. Each one of you has to be a messenger, a prophet. The church will always exist as long as there is someone who has been baptized…Where is your baptism? You are baptized in your professions, in the fields of workers, in the market. Wherever there is someone who has been baptized, that is where the church is. There is a prophet there. Let us not hide the talent that God gave us on the day of our baptism and let us truly live the beauty and responsibility of being a prophetic people.”

In your baptism, beloved, you have been chosen, called by God to be an agent of God’s project to heal the world with love, to preview God’s new heavens and new earth. The church exists wherever we the baptized find ourselves, doing our best to be God’s microphones, announcing hope, proclaiming liberation, and doing glorious love, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Grace and peace,

The Right Reverend Craig Loya
X Bishop