Wednesday, January 3, 2018

“Baptism is an outward testimony of an inward transformation”

“The Church does not dispense the sacrament of baptism in order to acquire for herself an increase in membership but in order to consecrate a human being to God and to communicate to that person the divine gift of birth from God.” ― Hans Urs von Balthasar:  (1905 –1988: was a Swiss theologian and Catholic priest)

Gospel Text: (JN 1:29-34)
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.'
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel."
John testified further, saying,
"I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."

In today’s gospel, St. John the Baptist testifies about the baptism of Jesus. Pope Francis reminded us «Baptism is the Sacrament on which our faith is based, and which grafts us to Christ and His Church, as living members”; and he added: "It is not a mere formality! It is an act that touches the depth of our existence” A baptized child is not the same as a non-baptized child. A baptized person is not the same as a non-baptized person. “With the Baptism, we are immersed in that inexhaustible fount of life that is the death of Jesus, the greatest act of love of all history; and thanks to this love we are able to live a new life, no longer at the mercy of evil, sin and death, but rather in communion with God and with our brothers» 

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