So there we have it!!
HOW INCREDIBLE IS THIS??
Paragraph 1223 says, “All the Old Covenant prefigurations find their fulfillment in Christ Jesus.”
That’s not just true about Baptism
That is true about ALL of the Old Covenant prefigurations
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of ALL OF GOD’S PROMISES
Jesus Himself gets Baptized
St. John the Baptist used Baptism for SINNERS and REPENTANCE
Jesus ALLOWS HIMSELF to be Baptized in this Baptism of repentance
Jesus did not need to repent
So why did He get Baptized?
Jesus gets Baptized TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS
Jesus manifests where He REVEALS HIS SELF-EMPTYING
Pope Benedict XVI talked about the mess of humanity that was along the Jordan River when Jesus got Baptized
Think of all the different types of people who came to be Baptized by John the Baptist
These were some of the greatest people of the first century
These were also some of the worst people of the first century
They ALL came out to be Baptized by John in the Jordan River
Jesus is the righteous one, the Word of God made Flesh and HE gets Baptized
Jesus does not get Baptized because HE needs it
Jesus gets Baptized because THEY need it
When Jesus is Baptized He is bringing that mess of humanity, the best and the worst of us, into the waters WITH HIM
When Jesus gets Baptized the waters don’t make HIM holy
Jesus makes the WATERS holy
So now the WATERS OF BAPTISM make US holy
Jesus takes this incredible reality of Baptism that John was doing and gives it NEW MEANING and NEW POWER
Remember we talked about the ways in which the Church encounters other cultures and sometimes embraces symbols and signs of that culture that point to the Gospel
So here is Baptism that existed
Jesus took it and transformed it and gave it a new meaning, reality, and power
From now on, Baptism SAVES US
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
In the very FIRST DAY of the Church, at Pentecost, the people ask what they must do to be saved
St. Peter responds with POWER AND CLARITY
St. Peter says in Paragraph 1226, “‘Repent and be Baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
Baptism, like all of the sacraments, actually DOES something
It is not MERELY A SYMBOL
It is not MERELY AN OUTWARD EXPRESSION OF AN INWARD FAITH
IT ACTUALLY IS POWER
IT IS EFFICACIOUS
IT DOES SOMETHING
IT SAVES US
IT WASHES AWAY ORIGINAL AND ACTUAL SIN
IT MAKES US INTO GOD’S CHILDREN
IT BRINGS US INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD
IT GIVES US THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
IT MAKES US INTO TEMPLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus Christ Himself has transformed and made powerful, given a new power, to the Old Covenant Baptism
In the Church from the very beginning, Christians understood that Baptism is what saves us
In John Ch 3 Jesus says, “You must be born again of water and the spirit if you want to enter the Kingdom of God.”
It is not just important
IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!
So what about those who don’t get a chance to get Baptized?
That is coming
Don’t get ahead of yourselves
Today we are talking about the reality, power, and efficacy of Baptism
If you have been Baptized, give God praise for it
If you have not been Baptized, ask God to give you the chance to be Baptized, to receive this new life that He has promised to all those who have been Baptized
Remember that Baptism and Faith go hand in hand
Paragraph 1226 says, “Always, Baptism is seen as connected with faith…”
When we were Baptized we were probably infants who didn’t have any faith because we couldn’t
It was the faith of your parents and godparents that spoke for you
At some point we need to EMBRACE OUR OWN FAITH
We need to EMBRACE OUR OWN BAPTISM
We need to SAY YES TO THAT BAPTISM THAT WAS DONE TO US
This is our chance to do that now
If you’ve never said yes to the Grace of Baptism in your life with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, to Jesus Christ then RENEW those Baptismal promises
“Lord God, by the power of your Holy Spirit, through the working of Jesus Christ, you have made me a son or a daughter of God the Father. I say YES to faith in you. I say YES to your Church. I say YES to your Grace. I say YES to your Truth. I say YES to you in all things. Help me to walk as a child of God this day and every day.”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!