It was a way of remembering our baptism – that we would dip our finger into a font of water – “holy water” – making the sign of the cross upon ourselves, laying claim once again to our baptism. Every time we entered the church we did this simple, powerful ritual.
As Christians journey through the season of Lent, the Liturgy of the Hours walks us through the Exodus – Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt. St. john Chrysostom (“golden tongue”), in his Catecheses, encourages us by telling us that what the people of Israel witnessed when they crossed the Sea of Reeds pales in comparison to what we experience in the waters of baptism.
“You did not see Pharaoh drowned with his armies,” writes St. John; “but you have seen the devil with his weapons overcome by the waters of baptism.” What a powerful image this is! Imagine it … from the simplest sin in our own life to the presence of evil at the cosmic level – all overwhelmed by the waters we immerse ourselves in, sprinkled upon our heads, poured out upon us.
Jesus said: “Go … make disciples … baptize them … teach them to obey what I have taught you … and know that I am always with you!”
Baptized, dipped in grace, covered with love, empowered to serve, confident that no matter what sin or evil might be chasing us – we have experienced the marvel of redemption. We have received the gift of joy!
A blessed Tuesday.