Father’s Column – January 13, 2019

Posted on January 13, 2019

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ! 

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. On the Traditional Calendar, today’s Feast is replaced by the Feast of the Holy Family. Baptism is an important part of our Faith, it is what forgives Original Sin and makes us members of the Church. May we think back and consider the day of our baptism, and how we have often come up short in the glory that had been given to us on that day. May we change our lives so as to be worthy of the gift that was given to us. 

Please find this reflection on the Baptism of the Lord by St. Augustine. Have a blessed week ahead!

“John knew Jesus even before He came to be baptized of him in Jordan, as we perceive by the words I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest Thou to me? Behold, how he knew that He was the Lord, how he knew that He was the Son of God! How do we prove that he knew that He it was Who should baptize with the Holy Spirit? Before the Lord came to the river, when many betook themselves to John to be baptized of him, the Baptist said I indeed baptize you with water but One Mightier than I cometh; the latchet of Whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Luke iii. 16.) Behold, John knew this also.

Yet John saith: I knew Him Now, how are we to explain this without calling John a liar? and God forbid that we should ever even think anything of the kind. Was it not that when the Dove descended on Christ, John then for the first time knew Him to have that peculiar attribute, that, whosoever should baptize with His Baptism, whether they were themselves just or unjust, the virtue of the Sacrament should proceed, not from them, but from Him on Whom abode the Dove; so that He is the real Baptizer in every Christian Baptism until the end of time, and it is in this sense that it is said of Him the Same is He Which baptizeth with the Holy Spirit Whether it be Peter, or Paul, or Judas, that performeth the ceremony, the real Baptizer and effectual Worker is Christ. For if the holiness of the baptism depended on the holiness of the particular officiator, no two baptisms would be exactly alike, and every one would be supposed to be more or less regenerated according as the minister who baptized him was more or less of a saint.

Now, my brethren, understand me. The saints themselves, those good men who appertain to the Dove, those good men whose portion is in Jerusalem, those good men in the Church, of whom the Apostle saith: the Lord knoweth them that are His, 2 Tim. ii. 19, these good men differ one from another by diversities of graces, and are not all of the same worthiness. Some are holier than others, and some are better than others. Supposing then for the sake of argument that A is baptized by B, a righteous saint, and C is baptized by D who is less worthy in the sight of God, who hath attained only a lower degree in godliness, who is not so chaste, and whose life is not so good as B’s, yet A and C receive just the same thing. And how is this, unless it be that it is Christ Himself Who is the effectual Baptizer?” – St. Augustine

 

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