There’s a difference between saying I drive a Ford and I am driving a Ford. The first simply claims that there’s a car sitting in the parking lot. The second is the activity of traveling down the road. In a similar way, we can think of sacraments as past events or events that are ongoing in their effects.

We can say “I am baptized,” the event of our baptism perhaps years ago. But we can say 24/7 I am living out the grace of my baptism, I am cooperating with the grace of my baptism, I am keeping my baptismal promises. Similarly, married persons can say “I am married.” However, the sacrament’s effects continue long after the wedding ceremony. Married persons might say, “I am trying to be the best spouse I can be” or “I am living out my marriage vows.”  A priest can say that he is ordained, but he can also claim that his ministry lies in anointing the sick, forgiving sin, presiding at the Eucharist.

Let’s put more ING into reception of the sacraments!