The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation

The Baptism of the Lord, based on Luke 3:15–16, 21–22

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

  Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation

  1. Why bring up original sin at a baby’s baptism? Where is the joy and hope that a family is committed to the following of Jesus in the time of the “nones”?
    I hope the family received more encouragement from their community..
    Bette Butler

  2. Thank you Bette Butler for your comment. I need to correct a misapprehension: this is not the homily I gave at the baptism of my grand-niece, this is a homily I prepared for for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. So a homily for a different audience and a different context. I take it that the listeners to are mainly practising believers keen to receive some spiritual nourishment but also to reflect on difficult points in the Bible and in Catholic tradition, especially in what you call the time of the ‘nones’. Original sin is mentioned in the rite of baptism (unless we decide to change that rite) and in modern times is one of those difficult points. This was my point of departure for the homily I prepared for For the homily at the baptism itself I spoke about a different point which was relevant to that audience and to that context.

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