. As we witness the baptism of a baby, we are also led to think of the child’s beautiful innocence as well as the saving power of God. Christian baptism is of course greater than John’s baptism, even as Jesus himself is far greater than John (Matt. Already he is … The baptism is an acceptance of death for the sins of humanity, and the voice that calls out “This is my beloved Son” over the baptismal waters is an anticipatory reference to the Resurrection. Many other Christian denominations think that it is odd that the Church would require baptism of babies, the most innocent of God’s creatures. Christian baptism not only forgives sins, but infuses the life of God into the soul, making us God’s children. His baptism was a fulfillment of righteousness, but not of His own; in the baptism in the Jordan, Christ fulfilled the righteousness of everyone who would ever be born. When you boil it all down, this is the essence of how we fulfill our baptismal mandate to become saints. Father Margevicius noted that Church Fathers, including St. Ignatius of Antioch, said that it’s not so much that Jesus goes in the water for himself to be sanctified, but to sanctify the water so that it can become the source of holiness for us. The answer involves the foundation of Catholicism, namely the reason that Christ became man, died and then rose from the dead. After all, he is the sinless, divine Son of God, and the baptism that John the Baptist administered was “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). This also explains why, in his own discourses, Jesus uses the word. In baptism, we are made one. Baptism is thus the necessary precursor to all other sacraments. Your child will receive the Baptismal grace and freed from original sin. When we are saved, we are “baptized” by the Spirit into the Body of Christ, which is the church. 12:14, NIV). The purpose is to cleanse babies of original sin at the earliest age possible, so they can become children of God, members of His Body, and the Church. Baptism is thus the necessary precursor to all other sacraments. It is an article of faith that anyone who dies in the state of original sin is excluded from heaven, from the vision of God. One of the questions that arise from this latter consideration is why Catholics baptize babies instead of waiting until children have reached the age of reason, as is common in many other Christian denominations. The Church teaches that baptism not only lets us participate in Jesus’ victory over sin and death, but calls us to our own personal holiness and apostolate (sharing our faith). That is why Catholics baptise babies "in the name of … Christian baptism is of course greater than John’s baptism, even as Jesus himself is far greater than John (Matt. So, we have some key differences in the Catholic doctrine of baptism compared to Scripture. The basic truth about baptism is that You and I are We. It seems odd that Jesus would be baptized. . Baptism is conferred upon infants to free them from original sin, to initiate them into the Church as Christians, and to give them the supernatural grace of God that will allow them to be formed in sanctity. 3:14, John 3:30). It turns the person into a newly adopted son of God and a member of Christ. To fully elaborate on all of these truths would require thousands of pages, but let’s consider them one by one in brief here. . In the … A fair question. Since Catholics believe that all mankind has been stained with original sin through the sin of Adam and Eve, it is necessary to remove this original sin through the grace of baptism even in the case of those who have not been able to commit actual sin. The Eastern traditions of iconography pick up on many of these themes, as the current pope emeritus elucidates: The icon of Jesus’ baptism depicts the water as a liquid tomb having the form of a dark cavern, which is in turn the iconographic sign of Hades, the underworld, or hell. Baptism is the gateway to the other sacraments, and so it prepares the child for later reception of confirmation and the Eucharist, among other sacraments. The baptism is an acceptance of death for the sins of humanity, and the voice that calls out “This is my beloved Son” over the baptismal waters is an anticipatory reference to the Resurrection. Baptism provides a common foundation among all Christians, including those not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. … If original sin is the source of our damnation then we are born with it. Prefigurations of Baptism in the Old Covenant. We don't think children should be without the grace of Jesus. First, it is helpful to understand the unique nature of the Catholic understanding of the sacrament of baptism as opposed to the understanding of baptism by other Christian denominations. Who are the saints? Rather, Pope Benedict XVI (writing as Joseph Ratzinger), in his, First, in antiquity water conjured up two distinct images, Looking at the events (of Christ’s baptism) in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realized what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon his shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan. The Church teaches that baptism not only lets us participate in Jesus’ victory over sin and death, but calls us to our own personal holiness and apostolate (sharing our faith). “I do not hesitate to put the Catholic catechumen, burning with divine love, before a baptized heretic. 1:12) . The feast of Christ’s baptism, then, is one we should commemorate with a great deal of reverence and contemplation since it is in part through His baptism on behalf of humanity that we have been given the grace to be able to join our God in heaven. And the origin of this sacrament is Jesus’ own baptism. Witnessing a baptism, then, reminds us both of the goodness that exists in the present world as well as the infinite goodness that awaits us in the next. Considering that baptism washes away original sin (as well as actual sin in the case of older children or adult baptisms), we are led to ponder the meaning of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan as that feast approaches, since although Christ took on our humanity He remained sinless. PD. This has always been the practice of the Orthodox churches and of many Protestant denominations as well. Rather, he sanctified the waters by his descent into them. . It would thus not be fitting to hold a baptism for a baby since they are incapable of making this choice which is the reason for baptism in their understanding. This feast causes us to ruminate on numerous things. And the origin of this sacrament is Jesus’ own baptism. BAPTISM IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION. . “The fruit of Baptism, … ... is why our Catholic Tradition places the Baptism of the Lord alongside the visit of … Christ Calls All to Baptism. Acts 2:38,39 Peter in his first sermon makes it very clear that the promises of baptism are for adults and their children. The word “saint” derives from the Greek term, The world tends to value the letters at the end of people’s names—M.D., M.B.A., Ph.D. All four evangelists report Jesus’ baptism (Mt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-22; Jn 1:31-34) which means that it is extremely important. One of these feasts is the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, which occurs in early January, and commemorates the baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist. We all know what baptism does. Pope Benedict XVI (writing as Joseph Ratzinger), in his Jesus of Nazareth, offers some illuminating insights on all this. Why, exactly, do Catholics have the practice of baptizing infants? When you boil it all down, this is the essence of how we fulfill our baptismal mandate to become saints. One begins to wonder about the purpose of baptizing someone who cannot answer for himself or herself, especially since it is readily apparent that babies are incapable of choosing to act sinfully, and so do not need to be cleansed of sin in the same way that adults who have chosen to sin do. 14:21-31). John Chrysostom writes: “Going down into the water and emerging again are the image of the descent into hell and the Resurrection” (19). Saint Paul, looking back at this event, refers to it as a prefigurement of Christian baptism (1 Cor. This is especially true because in Christian usage the word had a highly particular meaning distinct from the term’s ordinary, everyday usage. The answer to this question, however, involves more than a simple difference of tradition. The Bible says, “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb. Let us mindfully renew those baptismal promises so that we may love God and our neighbor, be a faithful witness to Christ and prepare ourselves to share in the glory of His resurrection. This created a means of escape for God’s people from the stampeding armies of Egypt and its Pharaoh, which are types of sin and Satan. This also explains why, in his own discourses, Jesus uses the word, Jesus’ baptism not only is deeply intertwined. It’s also an annual occasion for many to ask, “Why was Jesus baptized?”. What is the purpose of baptism and who can celebrate the sacrament of Baptism? 10:2), which frees us from the rule of sin and death. It brings someone into the flock of the faithful and brings them to share in the royal priesthood of Christ (1 Pet. It makes the baptized a new creature. One is that the Bible says to be baptized once we have faith and repent of our sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15–17); no one should be baptized “in … In Matthew 3:13-17, Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized. . . The first feast that springs to our minds is almost without a doubt Christmas, the Nativity of Our Lord, but there are several others which are truly worthy of remembrance and celebration, and can aid us in recognizing the many truths woven into the fabric of Catholicism. Monday’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord marked the official end of the Christmas season. Baptism, according to Mary Collins, OSB, is always about relationships. In the Easter Vigil liturgy of the Roman Rite, the paschal candle is plunged into the waters of the baptismal font, much as Moses stretched his staff over the waters of the Red Sea, which God parted (Ex. Jesus’ baptism not only is deeply intertwined with the salvific events of the Passion and of Easter, but it also reveals him to be a new and greater Moses. He is, as it were, the true Jonah who said to the crew of the ship, ”Take me and throw me into the sea” (Jon. He is, as it were, the true Jonah who said to the crew of the ship, ”Take me and throw me into the sea” (Jon. It also states that baptism is what incorporates mankind into the life of the Church, and so it is through baptism that mankind is able to attain salvation at all. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back toward God” (CCC 407). Baptism incorporates a person into the Church, which is the body of Christ. If we want everyone we know and love to get to heaven, if we want them to see Jesus, they must become saints as well—no exceptions. Catholics believe we are born into "original sin," we inherit it. Who are the saints? The first is the presence of God’s grace in our lives, for as Catholics, we believe that the sacrament of baptism does not merely symbolize the conferral of grace, but rather actually cleanses us of original sin and gives us the grace necessary to receive more of His grace for the rest of our lives. The purpose of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection is to unite all things in Him and to redeem His people by taking on the burden of the sins of all mankind. . “baptism” to refer to his death (18). Since Catholics believe that all mankind has been stained with original sin through the sin of Adam and Eve, it is necessary to remove this original sin through the grace of baptism even in the case of those who have not been able to commit actual sin. The Catholic Church, it noted, believes that the minister of a baptism is not acting on behalf of only himself or the local community, but … Even the physical act of baptism, especially baptism by immersion, represents death and new life: the descent into the waters is a form of death and burial; the rising to a new life is an icon of resurrection. The baptism of the Lord also reminds us, of course, of our own baptism. The ancient mind perceived the ocean as a permanent threat to the cosmos, to the earth; it was the primeval flood that might submerge all life . Therefore, when someone is publicly baptized, he is proclaiming his allegiance to … He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners. Since babies cannot speak for themselves, their parents and godparents play a vital role in their baptism. The world tends to value the letters at the end of people’s names—M.D., M.B.A., Ph.D. In the Catholic Church, infants are baptized to welcome them into the Catholic faith and to free them from the original sin they were born with. “baptism” to refer to his death (18). On the other side, the sacrament itself shows to us the possibilities that come into existence when we unite ourselves to Christ and ready ourselves to accept His grace, even in spite of the fall. The word “saint” derives from the Greek term hagios, which means “the holy ones.” Being a holy person just means being, with God’s considerable help, the person you were created to be. It turns the baptized into a newly adopted son or daughter of God and a member of the Church. The easiest and perhaps best answer would simply be that this was the constant Tradition or teaching of the early Church, right from the time of the Apostles. We breath with the Lord Jesus and with every other baptized person. with the salvific events of the Passion and of Easter, but it also reveals him to be a new and greater Moses. The Church recognizes the validity of Baptism in other Christian Churches as long as the rite involved the pouring of or immersion in water, a Trinitarian formula, and the intention to baptize. Second, this feast helps us consider the meaning of baptism itself in the Catholic Church, and the meaning of sacraments in general. Even within the Catholic Church herself we put the good catechumen ahead of the wicked baptized person” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:21:28 [A.D. 400]). According to aboutcatholic.com baptism does five things : It forgives all sins that were committed before baptism including original, mortal, and venial sin. The Fundamentalist contention that baptizoalways means immersion is an oversimplification. As Catholics, by way of reminder, we situate our reflection on the sacrament of baptism not only in a personal but also in a communal level, that is, the Church. Now baptism is the door to all the sacraments, so without baptism, one cannot receive the other sacraments. Why did Christ, then, place such great importance on His own baptism even though there was no sin to wash away? This also explains why, in his own discourses, Jesus uses the word First Corinthians 12:13 says, “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” His inaugural gesture is an anticipation of the Cross. Jesus’ descent into this watery tomb, into this inferno that envelops him from every side, is thus an anticipation of his act of descending into the underworld . Jesus had no need to be cleansed by the waters of baptism, for he had no sins to be washed away. Despite this, the first objection often is that babies cannot personally make the commitment necessary for Baptism. Why we celebrate Christ's baptism close to the Epiphany. Do the godparents of our child need to be married to each other? 1:12) . This is also why we need to share our faith! In their churches, baptism is ultimately just an outward sign of a choice that a person has made, namely that they have made the decision to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and live according to His laws. Turning to the Catholic understanding of baptism, however, we bear witness to several beautiful truths that are fundamental to the Catholic faith. But the flowing waters of the river are above all a symbol of life (15-16). And we can begin by affirming that indeed we have been created in God’s image and likeness. The Problem. 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