There are many rituals of purification in almost all cultures. Also, we can see so many types of ritual washings in Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and many other religions. Some do it with water, others with sand and ashes… Therefore, the believers consider such places and many rivers something special and sacred.
Purification makes us look neat and clean, above all, it brings us good mood and energy. Water refreshes us and makes awake both externally and internally. But it is not just a superficial act. For the purification of the body can also refer to the inner purity. This cult show us the willingness to lead a pure life through faith and prayer. We Christians have not much purity regulations. But Baptism can be listed to this symbolic act.
Today we celebrate the baptism of Christ, with much meaningful symbols. Baptism was a very important event in the life of Jesus. Because after that Christ began his active life. He travelled across Palestine and announced the Gospel, the Kingdom of God. He healed people and called for vigilance.
But, baptism for Christ was not only the single event in Jordan. His baptism was connected with his death and resurrection. Therefore, he says, “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!“ (Lk 12, 50). Actually each baptism is a death, where one is reborn to new life in God; where one is reborn as healed and purified people; where one is newborn to be vigilant in faith…
We often learn of children crying at their baptism. They will be awake or feel irritated when the holy water is poured on the forehead. This is a normal reaction. Not only children but also we, adults still have this problem when we stay under the shower, especially in the cold winter.
Yes, water makes us awake. But baptism awakens and invites us to think about our lives, a holy life. This works in us and cleanse us from our sins. This sacrament gives us the strength to wear the name of God eagerly and to bear witness to him with our lives. Yes, the baptism actually lead us to this vigilance…
When we enter into a church, then our hands will go automatically to the holy water. We make the sign of cross with the water because it reminds us our baptism and also refreshes its memories. This invites us to be watchful and conscious Christians.
Except the scenes and dramatic representations, our baptism remain similar to the baptism of Christ on the shore of Jordan. Because we, as Christians, are in the world and live the good news of Christ. That means, we proclaim Christ with our lives – sometimes consciously and sometimes different.
My dear friends,
Christ was baptised, not to live easy and comfortably, but to give testimony to the Father in Heaven. He received his baptism to serve God and people.
We Christians too receive this same call,
because we are also called to serve God and man.
Everything we do as Christians, is because of him and in his name.
That is the purpose of our baptism and the meaning of to be Christian.
So, let us be aware of our baptism; be aware of our vocation.
Let God awaken us so that we can bring God’s Good news to others and serve both man and God. May God bless us all. Amen!