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Baptism

“Jesus’ baptism began His mission of sanctifying all creation, driving out the demons, and reestablishing the rule of God.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)


“For in the sacraments, the laws of nature are overcome to allow the faithful to partake of the Lord's salvation. In baptism, for instance, the water in the baptismal font becomes in a mystery the very Baptism of Christ, by which we attain the forgiveness of sins. Also, in the Eucharist, the bread and wine become in a mystery the very body and blood of Christ. In both cases, the laws of nature are overcome so as to bring about our salvation.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Joshua 3:16)


“Epiphany was the first public manifestation of Christ. At the time of His birth, our Lord was revealed to a few privileged people. Today, all those who surround John, that is to say his own disciples and the crowd that has come to the banks of the Jordan, witness a more solemn manifestation of Jesus Christ. What does this manifestation consist of? It is made up of two aspects. On the one hand there is the humility, represented by the baptism to which our Lord submits: on the other hand, there is the aspect of glory represented by the human witness that the Precursor bears to Jesus, and, on an infinitely higher plane, the divine witness which the Father and the Spirit bear to the Son. We shall look at these aspects more closely. But first of all, let us bear this in mind: every manifestation of Jesus Christ, both in history and in the inner life of each man, is simultaneously a manifestation of humility and of glory. Whoever tries to separate these two aspects of Christ commits an error which falsifies the whole of spiritual life. I cannot approach the glorified Christ without, at the same time, approaching the humiliated Christ, nor the humiliated Christ without approaching the glorified Christ. If I desire Christ to be manifested in me, in my life, this cannot come about except through embracing him…” (Fr. Lev Gillet)


“We have been “baptized into Christ.” That means that for us the reality of the resurrection is already here. In our baptism, we were united to Christ to share in His resurrected life (Galatians 3:27 and the Orthodox Baptism Service). St. Paul writes, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4). And the apostle continues, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:5). Our baptism assures us that just as we were lifted out of the baptismal water to live the New Life in Christ, so we are being raised from death to eternal life. Note that the apostle speaks of the resurrected life of the baptized in both present and future tenses. It is future in that “we will be raised” in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:5). That is, we will be raised bodily as He was.” (Fr. Basil)


“And when a person is baptized, the Church prays “that he may prove himself a child of the Light” (Service of Baptism). This image of proving oneself a child of the Light draws attention to the process by which the members of the Church engage in a common work. The Body of Christ labors with its new member and aids each one in realizing the potential of holy baptism. The baptismal waters are like a birth, after which nurture, training, growth, correction, and guidance must occur to form us into what we are meant to be: children of the Light. Christ is the Light; God is our Father; the Church is our mother. Baptism opens the door to becoming a healthy member of Christ’s kingdom. Each of us receives a trust – light and life are implanted within to be actualized. As God is not stingy with His grace, let us never squander His inheritance “with prodigal living” (Lk 15:13).” (Dynamis 6/25/2019)


#FrAndrewStephenDamick #OrthodoxStudyBible #FrLevGillet #FrBasil #Dynamis

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