Sunday, January 08, 2023

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

"The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic." (St Augustine).

"Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”

"Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

"Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3: 13 - 17).

Monday 9th January 2023 is the great feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

"I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.” (Mark 1: 8).

John the Baptizer bore witness to Jesus as the expected Messiah who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. (Mark 1: 8). Who is the Holy Spirit and why is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit the ultimate Christian experience?

#1. The Holy Spirit is the Big Gift. The Free Gift.

#2. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of joy and consolations.  A rich experience of joy and consolations await us when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit.

#3. "The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth." (1 John 5: 6).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth who leads us to all the truth about the person and work of Jesus the Christ.

The Baptism of Jesus launches His mission. Our Baptism with the Holy Spirit should similarly launch our mission. This is because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Mission and the Mission is Evangelization. The Church exists for only one purpose: to evangelize. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to accomplish this Mission.

Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Yes. At your Baptism. The grace of the Holy Spirit we received at Baptism was strengthened or confirmed in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

What if you say: I have been baptized and confirmed but I don't experience the joy and consolations of the Holy Spirit. Why? There could be two reasons:

#1. Activate the Holy Spirit in you. Like a new credit card, you need to activate it before you can start to use it. How do you activate the Holy Spirit?
Ask with expectant faith for the Holy Spirit to come to you and become active in you.
You can make a 9 Day Novena to increase your desire and preparation. There are many websites on the internet with Holy Spirit Novena templates.

#2. The second reason why you may not experience the promised joy, peace and comforts of the Holy Spirit is Sin. Any unconfessed sin will block the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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