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Posted on December 29, 2018 10:30

Our Gospel today is about the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus came to be baptized by John the Baptist. Baptism was a rite widely practiced among ancient peoples. It was employed as a kind of initiation rite. This was the way you made a public notice of your intention to be part of a group. You waded into the water and were immersed. The exact procedure varied from one locality to another. But in any case, the purpose of the rite was to formalize a vow. 

Because Jesus underwent this act of initiation, every Christian denomination has set Baptism as a Central requirement for entrance into the Christian Life. But Christians agree on one thing: Baptism is an important part of the journey toward the Kingdom of God. 

Some view baptism like a flu shot where you get a little bit of a disease in a safe dose so that you won’t catch the real thing. They don’t see baptism as initiation into a community that can help them learn how to follow Christ who leads them to the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Some view baptism like a flu shot where you get a little bit of a disease in a safe dose so that you won’t catch the real thing. They don’t see baptism as initiation into a community that can help them learn how to follow Christ who leads them to the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Some view baptism like a flu shot where you get a little bit of a disease in a safe dose so that you won’t catch the real thing. They don’t see baptism as initiation into a community that can help them learn how to follow Christ who leads them to the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Some view baptism like a flu shot where you get a little bit of a disease in a safe dose so that you won’t catch the real thing. They don’t see baptism as initiation into a community that can help them learn how to follow Christ who leads them to the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Feeding Children: on Saturday, January 26th, St. Philip Neri's Carvlin Hall will be the site for packaging meals to feed children struggling with hunger in the Portland area. We need volunteers to package 10,000 meals in 2 hours through the organization called Generosity Feeds. Those meals will be distributed to schools and food banks here for any students in need. This is the website if you want to take look: https://generosityfeeds.org/or/portland/ 

Some view baptism like a flu shot where you get a little bit of a disease in a safe dose so that you won’t catch the real thing. They don’t see baptism as initiation into a community that can help them learn how to follow Christ who leads them to the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Baptism, none-the-less is an act of a community. It should never be performed totally in private, for we do not live our faith solely in private. The one who says, “I can be a Christian without the Church,” does not understand the nature of Christian Life or Church teaching. When we become sons and daughters of God the Father, we become brothers and sisters to each other. Baptism is an act of community. 

Rituals are important! For one thing rituals are an act of a community that stands together. The world doesn’t need any lone ranger Christians. Many people have contributed to our being where we are today. We didn’t come into this world by ourselves. We didn’t come to our faith as Christians by ourselves. We are inter-related, whether we like it or not. 

I have a friend who was raised Baptist and during High School years he was President of his Science Club and began to question the existence of God, as many young people do. He decided he was an agnostic and when he told his mother, tears ran down her cheek as she said to him, “I thought we raised you right. I never thought it would come to this, our son an agnostic.” Later in his life he experienced a conversion and became a Catholic. He told his mother he decided to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. With tears rolling down her cheek she said to her son and I quote, “I never thought it would come to this, my son, a religious fanatic.” 

Some view baptism like a flu shot where you get a little bit of a disease in a safe dose so that you won’t catch the real thing. They don’t see baptism as initiation into a community that can help them learn how to follow Christ who leads them to the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Baptism, none-the-less is an act of a community. It should never be performed totally in private, for we do not live our faith solely in private. The one who says, “I can be a Christian without the Church,” does not understand the nature of Christian Life or Church teaching. When we become sons and daughters of God the Father, we become brothers and sisters to each other. Baptism is an act of community. 

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