|Friends, this great feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a good time to reflect on the significance of the sacrament of Baptism. One of the earliest descriptions of Baptism in our tradition is vitae spiritualis ianua, which means “the door to the spiritual life.”
To grasp the full meaning of this is to understand something decisive about Christianity. For Christianity is not primarily about “becoming a good person” or “doing the right thing.” Let’s face it, anyone—pagan, Muslim, Jew, nonbeliever—can be any of those things.
To be a Christian is to be grafted on to Christ and hence drawn into the very dynamics of the inner life of God. We don’t speak simply of following or imitating Jesus. We speak of becoming a member of his Mystical Body.
Do you see why it is so important that we are baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”? For Baptism draws us into the relationship between the Father and the Son—which is to say, in the Holy Spirit. Baptism, therefore, is all about grace—our incorporation, through the power of God’s love, into God’s own life.