“You are my Son, the Beloved.” Luke 3.22
I just arrived from our family pilgrimage in Holy Land, and one of the highlight of our trip was the renewal of Baptism at The Jordan River. As we all know the River Jordan has a very spiritual significance from any other rivers; primarily because this where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” … People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
— (LUKE 3:1, 5-6)
I was only 1 year old when I was baptized, and most of us are baptized at our very young age and doesn’t even know what happened then, and what is it really all about which made my opportunity to have my renewal of Baptism at the place where Jesus was Baptized indeed a moment beyond compare.
But what really is Baptism after all?
Sharing with you this story that I read from Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible;
It is opening day at the playground, and just about every child in the city is testing out the new equipment. Parents sit nearby, chatting through the din of excited shrieks and squeals.
A little girl scrapes her knee and begins to cry, her voice barely audible over the clamor. Immediately her mother straightens up, eyes moving quickly to a sad little figure in the crowd.
“Amy, what’s wrong? Are you hurt?”
We parent have our own errors, but generally we are like this mother. Familiar and attentive to all their children’s necessities and wellbeing. Enduring parenthood, unlocks our hearts and spirit to anyone who is in need of our love and attention. Something similar happens in Baptism.
Baptism expose us to God’s love, drawing us into His Family. It tells us we are God’s children, with a place in the Father’s house and at His table. We become brothers and sisters of Jesus, with a share in His mission and inheritance, and through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we share in Jesus’ own intimate relationship with the Father.
Baptism represents an intense rescue – even more intense than those acceptances where children face a lifetime of sickness, poverty, and abuse are taken away into loving homes. Through that rescue, we escape Satan’s’ rules and sin’s power, and we undergo an distinctive transformation so essential that it is more rebirth than acceptance. “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. “My Beloved Son,” the Father called Jesus. “My Beloved Daughter,” The Father now calls us.
More About Baptism
Holy Baptism holds the first place among the sacraments, because it is the door of the spiritual life; for by it we are made members of Christ and incorporated with the Church.
And since through the first man death entered into all, unless we be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, we cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven, as Truth Himself has told us.
The matter of this sacrament is true and natural water; and it is indifferent whether it be cold or hot. The form is: I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. We do not, however, deny that the words: “Let this servant of Christ be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost;” or: “This person is baptized by my hands in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” constitute true baptism;
because since the principal cause from which baptism has its efficacy is the Holy Trinity, and the instrumental cause is the minister who confers the sacrament exteriorly, then if the act exercised by the minister be expressed, together with the invocation of the Holy Trinity, the sacrament is perfected.
The minister of this sacrament is the priest, to whom it belongs to baptize, by reason of his office. In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or deacon, but even a layman or woman, nay, even a pagan or heretic can baptize, provided he observes the form used by the Church, and intends to perform what the Church performs.
The effect of this sacrament is the remission of all sin, original and actual; likewise, of all punishment which is due for sin. As a consequence, no satisfaction for past sins is enjoined upon those who are baptized; and if they die before they commit any sin, they attain immediately to the kingdom of heaven and the vision of God.
“May we all receive the Sacrament of Baptism and take a place at His Kingdom with no end.”
I may have been blessed to be at the River Jordan and understand the true meaning of Baptism and endure its lasting promises; from me to our Father, and from Thy father to me. But by just simply understanding the real essence of it makes no difference wherever may we be.
Read More: Special Blessings
baptismsite.com, The Baptism Site of Jesus Christ
seetheholyland.net, Jordan River
newadvent.org, Catholic Encyclopedia, Baptism
Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, Michigan