Tag Archives: baptism

Are You the Next Matthias?

The first act of the apostles after Jesus’ Ascension was to find a replacement for Judas. Of all the things they could do, they chose to focus their attention on finding a twelfth apostle. Why? Twelve was a very significant number to the Jews, representing completeness.  There were twelve tribes of Israel, so if the disciples of Jesus were to symbolize a new Israel capable of evangelizing the whole world, a twelfth apostle was needed. But Jesus had chosen the original twelve. Now that he was gone, how would they know whom to choose?  In …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

January 19, 2014: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel: John 1:29-34 John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

January 12, 2014: The Baptism of the Lord Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17 Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending …

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Holy Ship of Theseus!

I do not remember much of my Metaphysics 101 class from my undergraduate days at the University of Dayton. I would describe the class as a giant mind trip in all honesty. One particular mind trip, though, has stuck with me through the years because I think it is a very good analogy for the process of conversion in our Christian life. The thought experiment is called the Theseus’s Paradox and it goes something like this: Theseus has a ship. Over time Theseus replaces parts of that ship as they wear out or break. The …

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The Gospel’s Tough, Kid!

As a seminarian, I was assigned to live at a local parish. One of my duties there was to assist the pastor in setting up for Mass and other services. One day I was readying for a baptism, getting out the oils, candle, baptismal garment, and last of all, filling a basin with water to eventually be blessed and poured over the child’s head. I had been preparing a basin of warm water, when the pastor questioned me, “What are you doing? Are you using warm water?” I said that I was and explained how …

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Where 2 or 3 Are Gathered: Home Edition

January 13: The Baptism of the Lord Gospel: Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22 The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon …

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Faith & Hope in the Midst of a Storm

‘Marilyn’ was excited to continue her journey of faith in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.  She was baptized in a Baptist Church and for a long time was actively living out her faith.  Somewhere along the way as the days and years passed by, she was not as active in seeking a deeper relationship with God.  She was introduced to the Catholic Church by a friend who loved the Church and his faithfulness piqued her interest.  It was very obvious that “Marilyn” had been brought up in the faith, but it was also …

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Grace: The Sharing

In the Catholic Christian tradition, grace signifies Christ’s life in us. In ordinary speech, grace means “charm” or “appeal” (“She is a very graceful person.”), but the word’s root meaning has overtones of kindness, favor and gift. In Christian belief, therefore, grace suggests God’s goodness and generosity, which endow us with the life of Christ. Grace is gift par excellence. Grace is our sharing in the salvation and redemption of humankind that was accomplished by the life, death and resurrection of the God-Man, Jesus. It is a new kind of relationship with God. When we …

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Baptism: Sacrament of Beginning and Promise

I have been involved in infant baptisms for the better part of the past 20 years. I had obviously had been to baptisms all through my life (which is far longer than two decades), but joining the baptism preparation team at my parish was a pivotal experience. Working with families preparing for the baptism of their child gave me the opportunity to regularly think about this sacrament and its implications for my life.  The sacrament of baptism is a celebration of the love of God mediated through the signs of water, oil and light in …

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