Tag Archives: Baptism

Baptism of the Lord, no ordinary feast

B16 baptizes 2012.jpgToday the Church in the US celebrates the Feast of the
Baptism of the Lord, in 2012, the day after the Solemnity of the Epiphany. In
other places, like Rome, the Church observed the Baptism of the Lord yesterday
as the Epiphany was celebrated on the traditional 12th day of Christmas,
January 6. Today’s feast reminds us that being a Christian is the joy of being
“children of God.” During his noontime Angelus Address Pope Benedict said that “God
is the origin of the existence of every creature and the Father in a unique way
of every human being: He has a unique, personal relationship with him or her.”
At Mass in Rome earlier in the morning the Pope had baptized 16 newborn infants,
children of Vatican employees in the Sistine Chapel.

The Church prays

Almighty ever-living God, who, when Christ had been baptized in the River Jordan and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him, solemnly declare him your beloved Son, grant that your children by adoption, reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, may always be well pleasing to you.

This magnificent prayer tells us that what Jesus was by nature, we become by grace through the sacraments.

Benedict: to awaken hope in place of despair, joy in place of sadness, & life in place of death

Holy Saturday Baptism.jpgIn these first days of Easter the Church rejoices in
Christ’s resurrection from the dead, which has brought new life to us and to
our world. Saint Paul exhorts us to make this new life evident by putting to
death the things of this earth and setting our hearts on the things that are on
high, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father (cf. Col 3:1-2).
Having put on Christ in Baptism, we are called to be renewed daily in the
virtues which he taught us, especially charity which binds all the rest together
in perfect harmony
. By living this new life we are not only interiorly
transformed, but we also change the world around us. Charity in fact brings
that spiritual freedom which can break down any wall, and build a new world of
solidarity, goodness and respect for the dignity of all. Easter, then, is a
gift to be received ever anew in faith, so that we may become a constant leaven
of life, justice and reconciliation in our world
. As believers in the risen
Lord, this is our mission: to awaken hope in place of despair, joy in place of
sadness, and life in place of death.
With Christ, through him and in him, let
us strive to make all things new!

Pope Benedict XVI
Summary of Wednesday General Audience

Baptism in the Traditional Form

Baptismal and other rites.jpgIn the Latin Church there are several forms of celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism. Most Catholics today are familiar with the Rite of Baptism done according to the reforms of Pope Paul VI. Other Catholics follow the Traditional form according to the Rituale Romanum. This booklet follows this older form of the ritual.

The booklet is compiled by members of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) who are not in full communion with the Roman Pontiff. Moreover, the booklet doesn’t carry an imprimatur of a bishop in communion with the Pope.
This is a handy booklet on Baptism is in print at Angelus Press. One booklet is $3.95, 10 for $26.00.

Benedict XVI baptizes 21: our destiny is full communion with God in eternal happiness

Pope in the Sistine Jan 9 2011.jpg

The papal
tradition of baptizing infants has been in place for some time. In addition to
baptizing converts at the Easter Vigil, Pope John Paul II annually popularized
the Rite of Baptism on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and since his
election 5 years ago, Benedict has continued it. The newly baptized typically
are newborn babies. Today, the Sistine Chapel was the magnificent setting for
21 infants ranging between four weeks to four months; all are children of
Vatican employees. May God grant the newly baptized the grace of forgiveness of
Original Sin, enlightenment, regeneration as a new person in Christ, and
adoption as a son or daughter of God. Pope speaks very clearly about today’s Scripture for Mass and the theology of the Liturgy we celebrated today. The Pope’s homily follows:

It is my
pleasure to warmly welcome you this morning, especially you parents and
godparents of the 21 infants upon whom, in a few moments time, I will have the
joy of administering the Sacrament of Baptism. As has become tradition, this
ritual takes place again this year as part of the Holy Eucharist during which
we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. With this the Feast, on the first Sunday
after the Epiphany, the Christmas season concludes with the manifestation of
the Lord in the Jordan.

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Baptism of the Lord

Baptism of Christ Cima da Conegliano.jpg“A voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Baptism in the Jordan returns to the great
Christmas theme of ‘Christification’, Jesus of Nazareth’s spiritual anointing,
His presentation as the Anointed One per excellence, the Messiah or the One
sent by the Father for the salvation of mankind. The Spirit that descended on Jesus shows and seals in an
incontrovertible way the ‘Christification’ of Jesus’ humanity that the Word had
already fulfilled from the first moment of His miraculous conception by
Mary. Jesus, from the very
beginning, was always the Lord’s Christ, He was always God. …the Baptism in the
Jordan presents yet another truth: that Jesus has started a new creation. He is the second man (1 Cor 15:47) or
the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45), that comes to repair the first Adam’s guilt.  He does this as the Lamb of God that
takes away our sins. ‘Looking at
the events in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people
realised what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon His
shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan.  He inaugurated his public activity by
stepping into the place of sinners.’ 
(Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, Bloomsbury 2007, p. 18)

Excerpt from the Letter from Cong. pro Clericus, 2011

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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