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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
24th Sunday of the Year 16th September 2012
What a Start

When we think about baptisms we invariably conjure up images of cute babies, exquisite baptismal garments and a jolly good party afterwards. However, what we don’t consider is where the sacrament of baptism has its origin.
You will know that John the Baptist said that Christ would baptise with water and the Holy Spirit, a progression from John’s baptism of repentance. But if you go through the Gospels you won’t find an account of Jesus carrying out any actions like John did or as we do today. Now since John was the greatest prophet of all in Christ’s own words we need to find out where that baptism he prophesied happened and its significance.

On Friday the Church celebrated the Exaltation of the Cross and in today's readings we hear prophesies of the suffering that will take place on that “infamous gibbet” to quote St Alphonsus Liguri. But it is not just a place of death but of new life—the new life of baptism when Christ's spirit is breathed out over Mary and John and water flows from His pierced side.
In the words of St Andrew of Crete, “If there had been no cross, Christ would not have been crucified. If there had been no cross, Life would not have been nailed to the tree. If He had not been nailed, the streams of everlasting life would not have welled from His side, blood and water, the cleansing of the world; the record of our sins would not have been cancelled, we would not have gained freedom, we would not have enjoyed the tree of life, paradise would not have been opened. If there had been no cross, death would not have been trodden under foot, the underworld would not have yielded up its spoils.”

At a baptism the parents and godparents promise to bring a child up “in the practice of the faith.” Now that I am able to write this editorial and you are able to read it, that practice as become our responsibility. So, today, as we contemplate the cross let us consider our adherence to the practices of our faith, a faith born out of the suffering and death which ultimately brought the glory and the exaltation of Christ and the common salvation of the whole world.

Fr Kevin

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:57 am