FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
BAPTISM IN THE SPIRIT – 4
January 6, 2017
Today’s gospel: Mark 1:4-11
A key and crucial element of the New Evangelization is the so-called baptism in the Holy Spirit. Though as Catholics we have received the Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, there is a need for an adult experience of baptism in the Spirit. “I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.” (v.8).
Sacramental Baptism is basically for the washing away of original sin. It is “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (v.4). It is a sacrament of regeneration by which we become members of the body of Christ. Sacramental Confirmation is intended to enable us to live out our faith and to be witnesses to Christ. Most are baptized as infants, and confirmed when they reach seven years or older. Infants cannot decide for themselves, and so they have godparents. Older children or young teenagers may not really understand what they are called to in Confirmation. The reality is that many Catholics fall away from the faith when they become adults.
And so lapsed Catholics need to meet Christ anew, repent of their sins, reject Satan, and basically renew their baptismal commitment. They then more knowingly start to live Christ. But they also need to share Christ. This should be the effect of Confirmation, where they become soldiers of Christ. But it did not happen. Now, as adults, making a conscious decision, they can become bold witnesses to Christ.
They thus need a renewed infilling of the Holy Spirit, to enable them to have a renewed outpouring of the Spirit in their lives. This experience happens through the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
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