So there we have it!!
Fr. Mike is really pumped about Baptism!!
Paragraph 1262 says, “The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite.”
That’s technical language that basically means there are symbols we use in all of the Sacraments
Those things, that stuff, signify something
The grace of the sacrament is that it is a sacred sign that causes what it signifies
What does immersion in water do?
It symbolizes death
Because it symbolizes going down into the grave
It also symbolizes purification
Because going into water symbolizes washing
Just as it symbolizes death and resurrection, it symbolizes purification and being cleansed
We cannot change the symbol of the Sacrament without changing the meaning of the Sacrament
You can’t Baptize someone in diet coke
You need water
Because water is the symbol of dying and rising
It is also a symbol of washing
You can’t Baptize someone in motor oil
Even though they are both liquids, it doesn't have the same symbolism and it can’t be done
You can’t change the symbol without changing the Sacrament
The Sacrament does something
Paragraph 1263 says, “By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.”
This is an INCREDIBLE GIFT
This is one of the reasons people were tempted in the Early Church to put off Baptism until the end of their lives
If Baptism washes away ALL SIN and removes ALL CONSEQUENCES for sin then let’s wait till the end of life to get Baptized
That’s a dangerous thing and it is not recommended
One reason is that you don’t know when you are going to die
The second reason is that Baptism is not just about taking away sins for Eternal Life
It is also about bringing us into Eternal Life RIGHT NOW
THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
Paragraph 1265 says, “Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte ‘a new creature,’ an adopted son of God, who has become a ‘partaker of the divine nature…’”
This may be a hard word to share…
Every person who lives on this Earth is made in the image and likeness of God
This means that every person has dignity
This means that every person is a brother or sister when it comes to the unity of humanity
Every person is a beloved creature of God
Every person who has ever been made is a beloved creature of God
It is only in Baptism that we become God’s sons and daughters
That can seem rude or exclusive
There is no religion, philosophy, or culture that claimed that every human being is a son and daughter of God
Only Christianity can make that claim
There are religions that exist right now with a lot of followers that if you told them, “I’m a child of God!” then they would call that BLASPHEMY
Christianity is the only religion to claim the possibility that we could actually become the sons and daughters of God through Baptism
We become a “partaker of the divine nature”
This means we are human beings with a human nature
God is the divine nature
God is the ONE GOD
God could look at us and call us His sons and daughters
That would be like dog people and cat people who call themselves dog-moms and cat-dads
While we love our pets, they are not really our children
Because we are not the same
We have human nature
They have dog nature or cat nature etc.
Even if you go down to the courthouse and legally adopt your pet that would be what is called illegal fiction
Yes it’s there on paper but they aren’t actually your CHILD
Not because you don’t love them
Not because they aren’t special
Not because they don’t have a certain dignity on their own
You are not the same thing
Similarly, God can look at us and say that we are LIKE His sons and daughters
Something has to CHANGE IN US in order for us to ACTUALLY BE SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND GOD
Here’s the example of Geppetto and Pinocchio…
Pinocchio is not Geppetto’s son
He is the beloved creature of Geppetto
No matter how much Pinocchio responds to Geppetto, Geppetto is NOT Pinocchio’s father
What has to happen in order for Pinocchio to look at Geppetto and call him FATHER?
Pinocchio has to become a REAL BOY
He has to have the same nature as his maker
When he does have that same nature he can really look at Geppetto and say that not only is he his maker, he is his father
Something similar is true for us Christians
God has created us in His image
God loves us more than we can ever imagine
God loves everyone whether they know Him or not
If we are going to actually look at God and say, “Abba! Father!”
God is going to look at us and say, “You are my son. You are my daughter.” (Just like Mufasa would have said to us!! 😉 lion king - remember who you are (HD) )
SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE IN US!!
We have to become sharers in the DIVINE NATURE
When we receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism, God changes our nature
WE BECOME A NEW CREATURE!!
WE BECOME A NEW KIND OF BEING!!
WE BECOME A NEW SPECIES!!
Because we share in God’s Nature…
Because God has given us the Holy Spirit in Baptism…
Now we actually can cry out, “ABBA! FATHER!!”
IT IS TRUE!!
IT IS NOT JUST ANALOGY!!
IT IS ADOPTION!!
In the Old Covenant they sometimes called God the Father but they called Him Father by ANALOGY
Now in the New Covenant we can call God Father because He has ADOPTED US
Does that make sense?
THIS IS A MASSIVE MASSIVE TEACHING!!
For those who want to wait till they die to get Baptized…
Wouldn’t you want to live your entire life as a child of God?
Wouldn't you want to have access to the Father’s heart?
Every time you talk to God, you are talking to your FATHER
The God who has adopted YOU as His son or daughter
God has done this at a great price
What made it possible for God to adopt us?
THE DEATH OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST!!
NOT HIS ADOPTED SON
HIS ETERNAL ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
It cost God the DEATH OF HIS SON to adopt US
He poured out His Holy Spirit for this GREAT GIFT
Baptism is not just a ritual people go through
Baptism is not just a symbol
Baptism is not just a sign
BAPTISM MAKES US NEW!!
Paragraph 1264 says, “Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence…[we can] manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ.’ Indeed, ‘an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.’”
We are given every good gift in Baptism and the other Sacraments to be able to compete well
God is not leaving us to fight on our own
God is not leaving us to compete on our own
God is giving us HIS VERY NATURE
God is giving us HIS VERY HOLY SPIRIT to dwell inside of us and give us the POWER TO MOVE FORWARD
THAT IS THE TRUTH!!
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MOVE FORWARD!!
If you are Baptized, you are a CHILD OF GOD
THAT HAS CHANGED YOU FOR ETERNITY!!
If we say YES to God we get to dwell with Him as his Child in Heaven FOR ETERNITY
If we say NO after Baptism then we will live as children of God BUT ETERNALLY SEPARATED FROM OUR FATHER, SEPARATED FROM OUR HOME, AND SEPARATED FROM OUR FAMILY
God’s choice is CLEAR
God’s choice is that HE WANTS YOU AND HE LOVES YOU
The only choice that remains is OURS
What do we say in response to His love?
IT IS A BIG CHOICE!!
We have concupiscence
We have weakness of our will
Because of this inclination for sin we need God’s Grace
We need to pray for each other
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!