I welcome you all to the month of October, a month that is so dear to mother Church. I believe all my Catholic friends are making good use of the period by devoutly praying the holy rosary and seeking the maternal intercession of our blessed mother Mary for ourselves and our nation. I’m happy to say that, we have a few non catholic brothers and sisters who are journeying with us. Let us eschew all excuses and laziness and grab all the blessings that this devotion has to offer. You will have testimonies to share.
We concluded our study on Sacramentals after our discussion on Scapulars last week. Today, we shall begin our study of the each of the 7 Sacraments, one after the other.
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
Baptism is one Sacrament which is common to almost all, if not all, christian denominations, at least in the general understanding of it. The Sacrament of Baptism has the first rank among the Seven Holy Sacraments, as it is the door by which the believer enters the church and has the right to partake in the rest of the Sacraments.
The Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of Baptism by being baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, when the Holy Spirit came upon Him as a dove, anointed Him, then assured it after the resurrection when He said to His disciples: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew: 28:19).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church [C.C.C.] and the Church Fathers have these to say about baptism:
1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature.” (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Cf. Rom 6:34; Col 2:12)
1215 This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration/rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God.” (Titus 3:5; Jn 3:5.)
1216 “This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . .” (St. Justin, Apol. 1,61,12:PG 6,421) Having received in Baptism the Word, “the true light that enlightens every man,” the person baptized has been “enlightened,” he becomes a “son of light,” indeed, he becomes “light” himself: (9 Jn 1:9; 1 Thess 5:5; Heb 10:32; Eph 5:8)
~Who can baptize?
~What types or forms of baptism do we have?
~If baptism is necessary for salvation, what about those who die without even having a chance to be baptized?
~What about those who don’t even know about it? Will they lose heaven when its no fault of theirs?
To be continued…
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