By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley, based on 1st John 3:1-3
When a baby is born, there’s nothing more exciting for a mother or father than meeting that baby for the first time. It’s a moment of utmost joy and excitement. However, there’s another moment that’s very similar – when that baby is baptized. After baptism, that baby is a completely new person. You get to meet that new person for the first time, again!
We all experienced that at our baptisms, no matter how old we were. As John says in his letter, “Beloved, we are God’s children now.” This is not a metaphor. Once we were hopeless sinners; now we are God’s children. We are completely new people. That’s the love the Father has given to us – he has completely forgotten what we used to be because of what we now are.
As the infomercials say, “But wait, there’s more!” John continues by saying, “What we will be has not yet appeared.” What will we be? That’s not made entirely clear, but it must be pretty amazing, because John says we will be like Jesus. His reasoning for this is that “we shall see him as he is.” Just as we were changed completely at baptism, we will be changed completely again because we will see Jesus face-to-face. We will meet him for the first time, and we will be made new. Again, this is not a metaphor. We will be completely new people, and we will live with Jesus in paradise.
For now, as we await this last transformation, we can rejoice in the fact that we are redeemed children of God. We have been purified and made holy and given the hope of eternal life. Because of this, we are free to serve our Savior in the vocations he has given us. We can let the joy of Christ overflow from our hearts into our daily lives.