The priest of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, tragically died in a traffic accident.
Father David Hudgins, a priest in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, wrote an article for his parish bulletin shortly before his death in a traffic accident on January 3.
Father Hudgins was pastor of St. Joseph’s Shrine in Brooklyn, Michigan, and judicial vicar of the Diocese of Lansing.
His requiem mass was said on January 8 and his body was buried in the cemetery of the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph.
Father Hudgins’ article for the Shrine Bulletin for the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord is reproduced below, with the permission of the Diocese of Lansing.
The Lord’s Baptism and Our Baptism – Do You Know Who You Are? By Father David Hudgins
You have received this grace, a gloriously incomprehensible gift from God beyond all human merit: adoption into the family of God … the Church. You have been configured for the death and resurrection of Christ. You have put on Christ and been made new in the Holy Spirit. God has given you the grace of justification, the gifts of faith, hope and love, and the spiritual power to act righteously.
You participate in the divine life of the Holy Trinity. Who is God runs through your veins. You belong to Christ. You are a new creation, a child of God, a participant in divine nature, a joint heir with Jesus. You share the priestly, prophetic and royal “Christic life” common to all believers. You have been sealed with an indelible character: configuration to Christ.
This is your seal of eternal life. Only sin can twist God’s masterpiece, and even then He can and will restore you, if you will. If we keep this covenant to the end, by remaining faithful to Jesus, we can hope to see God and participate in the resurrection and the life of the world to come. As a member of the Body of Christ, your connection to Him and to other Christians runs deeper than culture, gender, race, social status, and even blood. The bond of unity that you share with other Christians runs deeper than any human bond.
You have been baptized.
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is an act of Jesus our High Priest by the power of the Holy Spirit whereby the sons and daughters of Adam become Sons and Daughters of God.
Fortunately, the sacraments are not based on human understanding. If we needed perfect understanding for God to act in our lives, then he could do nothing with us since all of his works are endless and beyond full human understanding.
We give good things to our children. Baptism is a divine favor that will transform us for eternity; therefore, we must baptize infants. I was baptized when I was 25 days old. Children do not have perfect understanding; me neither. However, Jesus works in their hearts, in my heart and in the hearts of all of us through this powerful sacrament. Let us give Him thanks and praise for it.
Very Reverend David Hudgins
Father Hudgins’ article appeared earlier on the Diocese of Lansing website and is reprinted by the Catholic News Agency with permission.