Thursday, January 13, 2011
...our enjoyment of Him in the Gift
Today's commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord is all the more significant considering that there is a trend in some countries in Europe for people to "de-baptize" themselves. When I mentioned this to a believer recently she gave the response, "Let's all return to our sin. Let's cover ourselves up with the grime of sin." Her response to this idea of de-baptism is somewhat sarcastic but it also points out the truth why Jesus gives us this Gift to begin with. To run away from baptism is to run toward sin. Baptism brings us forgiveness. In Baptism we are clothed with Christ and His righteousness, we are buried with Him in His death and raised with Him in His Resurrection and newness of life. We are given the Holy Ghost. There is so much more to the Sacrament of Holy Baptism that we receive from the merciful hand of God but receiving Christ's righteousness and forgiveness is clearly in the opposite direction when contrasted with any desire to embrace sin and whatever all that means.
On the traditional western calendar tomorrow is the feast of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Below is an excerpt from his writing, De Trinitate (Book I, 1):
"Believers have always found their satisfaction in that Divine utterance, which our ears heard recited from the Gospel at the moment when that Power, which is its attestation, was bestowed upon us:— Go now and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I command you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:19-20 What element in the mystery of man's salvation is not included in those words? What is forgotten, what left in darkness? All is full, as from the Divine fullness; perfect, as from the Divine perfection. The passage contains the exact words to be used, the essential acts, the sequence of processes, an insight into the Divine nature. He bade them baptize in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that is with confession of the Creator and of the Only-begotten, and of the Gift. For God the Father is One, from Whom are all things; and our Lord Jesus Christ the Only-begotten, through Whom are all things, is One; and the Spirit, God's Gift to us, Who pervades all things, is also One. Thus all are ranged according to powers possessed and benefits conferred—the One Power from Whom all, the One Offspring through Whom all, the One Gift Who gives us perfect hope. Nothing can be found lacking in that supreme Union which embraces, in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, infinity in the Eternal, His Likeness in His express Image, our enjoyment of Him in the Gift."
HT: New Advent