A Reflection by Sister Carol Clare Czyzewski, FSSJ
Plunge in! Plunge into the new year! Better still, plunge into the newness that is yours through Christ the Lord.
Mindful that Jesus’ baptism is celebrated on January 12, you may want to reflect upon your baptism, its reality in your life, and the truth that it is Jesus who makes all “new.”
Baptism comes from the Greek for plunge. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus plunged into the water where many sinners had entered at John the Baptizer’s bidding to be purified of sins. Jesus, in effect, plunged into the human condition, carrying—if you will—the sins from that pool to the cross so that humankind could be purified. And, in that water—as one author put it–Jesus plunged into all of creation, uniting Himself with all things that came to be with Him, through Him, and for Him.
In my pastoral ministry, I have had the responsibility of preparing parents for the baptism of infants and of welcoming adults to the sacrament through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The ministry was a privilege!
First of all, I realized the ever-present power of baptism in my life. Second, I witnessed the joy of parents and catechumens as the ritual was celebrated. With this said, I must add that I learned how Jesus’ baptism gave deeper meaning to the words prayed and water poured. In his willingness to be baptized, our sinless Lord Jesus taught us that something beyond original sin was the reason for the sacrament. Just as Jesus was named “my beloved son” by the divine voice, so, we too are beloved children of God—baptism gives us our true identity. And, just as Jesus began his public ministry after baptism, so, we too are called to continue His mission, gifted by God’s Holy Spirit to join Jesus the Christ in making all things new.