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The word “baptism” means to immerse or to drench.
The baptism by John was a baptism of repentance. A sinner came to John, admitted their sins, and was immersed in waters that were a sign of God’s forgiveness.
But when Jesus came — he entered into the waters of baptism. So the mercy of God, through Jesus, is poured into the soul of every human being who is baptized. The water of the sacrament of baptism is more than the baptism by John, it is life changing in a much more powerful way. The life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit comes to fill our souls.
This gift, called sanctifying grace, is poured into every woman or man, child or adult, who is “drenched” in baptism. Among many other things, baptism enables us to believe in God, hope in God, and love God.
Our long-standing tradition of baptizing infants shows that baptism is a gift from God. They do not “earn” baptism. It is not based on their goodness or even their personal desire. It is simply bestowed upon them as pure gift.
Now, it is true, that we must eventually dip into the waters of our baptism and accept the presence of the Holy Spirit, God’s life, for ourselves. At some point, we must own our baptism and claim our inheritance as the children of God.
So today, let’s remember the great gift we have. We have been baptized, showered with the Father’s love, immersed in the mercy of Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit.
May we never deny our baptism. Instead, may we always allow the God’s life to work through us, and eventually, lead us to eternal happiness.
Also, let us pray for our nation, for a peaceful transfer of power, and for the forgiveness and change of heart in those who would try to usurp the rule of law by force and violence. May cooler heads prevail, reasoned debate be encouraged, and love be at the heart of all we do. Jesus said it well, “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mark 3:25). May that which unites us in our love of this great nation far outweigh those things that currently divide us. God bless America.
Have a blessed week everyone.