The second reading for Mass on Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, reminded us of the mystery of baptism. Prefigured in the old covenant with Noah, it is now fulfilled in the sacrament that makes us one with Christ, in the unity of his Body, the Church.
Christ himself, innocent though he was, had died once for sins, died for the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Now it was long ago, when Noah was still building that ark which saved only a small group of eight people ‘by water’, and when God was still waiting patiently, that these spirits refused to believe.
That water is a type of the baptism which saves you now, and which is not the washing off of physical dirt but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God’s right hand, now that he has made the angels and Dominations and Powers his subjects.
1 Peter 3:18-22
The simplicity of the Rite of Baptism, washing in water, anointing with oil, lighting a candle and dressing in white, both hides and reveals the new life we receive, the new Creation we become part of.
- For what renewal of life are you workig and praying in Lent this year?
Photograph is a font and baptistery in Toledo, Spain. (c) 2003, Allen Morris.