We have talked about our gathering, how if only we can see from above, on every sunday, we gather like wheats are being gathered into one bread. And as we finish our Eucharistic celebration, we disperse into the world, just as a bread that is broken and shared to the world. We are that bread. And in this article, we want to reflect what we, catholic, usually do as we enter the Church. There is a place for holy water, and we usually dip our hands into that water and make the sign of the Cross, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And what does that sigify?
That water as I enter the Church really reminds me of my water of baptism. And is it a coincidence that we “enter” into God’s Church through Baptism, just as we enter the Church building and blessed by that holy water? Indeed, the water at the entrance of the Church reminds us of our own baptism and our entrance into God’s Church.
Many people no longer understand the importance of baptism. Many people thought just believing and doing good is enough. But what do we really believe in? If we believe in Jesus, then we should also believe in what he says, and he says:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” -John 3:5
Unless we are born of water and the Spirit, we cannot “enter” the kingdom of God. Do we really believe that? But why? and what does it mean to enter the kingdom of God?
There are several instances that involves water in the Bible. And the Church liturgy has beautifully narrate them in the liturgy of Baptism in Easter Vigil. This is what the priest says when he blessed the water before baptism ceremony begins:
Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs, which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.
In baptism we use your gift of water, which you have made a rich symbol of the grace you give us in this sacrament.
At the down of creation your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness.
The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of baptism, that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.
Through the waters of the Red Sea you led Israel out of slavery, to be an image of God’s holy people, set free from sin by baptism.
In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptised by John and anointed with the Spirit.
Your Son willed that water and blood should flow from his side as he hung upon the cross.
After his resurrection he told his disciples: ‘Go out and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism.
By the power of the Spirit give to the water of this font the grace of your Son.
You created man in your own likeness: cleanse him from sin in a new birth of innocence by water and the Spirit.
How beautiful it is. In that short prayer, the meaning of our baptism is unfolded from what is written in the Scriptures!
I do not want to make this article to long, and so maybe I will talk a little bit here and there in the upcoming articles on some of the points mentioned in that prayer: the wellspring of holiness, a new beginning, set free from sin, anointed by the Spirit, water and blood, and grace. And how it is relevant as ever on how we should live as a Christian.