Christ introduces us to the Church through Baptism
Man is a social being and he needs to live in a community. This is expressed in the boy's statement, who complains about the lack of community at home : “My parents are only interested in me then, when I need to buy something, when i have to do something. Knowledge, that I like cinema, theater and other entertainment, but they don't know at all, what I actually live, what takes up my thoughts ".
And vice versa, when someone is in a real community, who entrusts him with its tasks, meets his needs and draws him into his troubles and joys, then he enjoys, just like your peer, who describes her experiences in this way : ,,I think, that my parents are interested in me enough and that makes me happy. When I am experiencing a crisis, then they are even more cordial to me than usual. They try their best, to help me. They share my joy in joy, in sorrow they share my sorrow ". Someone said the truth : ,,You can be happy in a small town, even in an oasis in the Sahara desert, if you have at least two or three faithful friends ".
Is our path to God a path in solitude? ?
The bond with Christ takes place in the Church and through the Church
To the question, are we lonely on our way to God, we find the answer in the Acts of the Apostles :
,,Saul still sowed terror and gasped with the desire to kill the Lord's disciples. […] As he was approaching Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And when he fell to the ground, he heard a voice, who spoke : «I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Get up and enter the city, they will tell you there, what are you to do ». […]
There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. "Ananias" ! - the Lord spoke to him in a vision : […] Go to Prosta Street and ask at Judah's house about Saul of Tarsus, [.,.] because I chose this man for myself » […].
Then Ananias left. He entered the house, he put his hands on it and said : «Siauliai, brother, Jesus, who appeared on your way, which you were walking, he sent me, that you may see and be filled with the Holy Spirit ». Immediately the scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight, and was baptized " (Dz 9, 1-19).
On his way to Damascus, Paul experienced the revelation of Christ and was converted by him. But this was only the beginning of Paul's journey. Christ wanted to unite him with himself through the Church. Therefore, he sent him to the Christian community in Damascus. There Paul was baptized, and thus clothed with Christ and grafted onto the new creation and incorporated into the community of believing Christians. That is why he writes in one of his Letters : “And now I am not alive, but Christ lives in me " (Ga 2, 20).
To, what Christ the Lord did for Paul in the Church and through the Church, it also does for all baptized people. The same can be expected of Christ by those, who are yet to believe and be baptized. All baptized people belong to the Church. It was God's pleasure to save people not individually, but in community, i.e.. making them a people (by. KK 9). Salvation is a social work. Already the people of the Old Covenant were saved by God in the community, when he delivered him from Egypt and led him across the Red Sea. Only through the community of the Church can each person be included in the People of God. This new people of God, of which we are members, he was born in the death and resurrection of Christ. Each of us has been implanted in the "new creation" and really has become only through the relationship with the Church and through her. For union with Christ takes place in the Church. As with Paul's baptism, he was not alone in being enriched spiritually, but also the entire Christian community in Damascus - each baptism enriches internally not only the baptized person, but also the whole Church. Through Baptism, the life of God grows in the Church, a new bond is created among people who form one Body - the Church. “For we were all baptized in one Spirit, [to pose] one body " (1 Disease 12, 13). Hence, from the moment of baptism, everyone in the Church becomes co-responsible for everyone, who was baptized, and he takes responsibility for the whole Church.
The bond with the Church in the liturgy of baptism
A certain bond between man and the Church is already established in the catechumenate. This is the period of preparation of adults for baptism. When parishioners accept an adult candidate for baptism, that is, the catechumen, they do so by the rite of serving salt (or bread and salt). In this way, they show their kindness to him. Moreover, bread and salt foreshadow the true food of Christ's disciples, which he will later receive. Then they make the sign of the cross on the candidate's forehead and take him under their protection. During this time, they instruct him about salvation, which Christ will give him, and about a new life, which is to lead. Besides, they are closely watching his life, and finally they decide, can he be baptized?. It is only on Holy Saturday that catechumens are baptized in the presence of the entire parish. The gathered people pray for them. They sing a litany to All Saints, to be united with the glorious Church. They do it for the sake of the catechumen. The post of the candidate and the host community is also an expression of solidarity. Finally, through the priest, the community of believers communicates this sacrament and admits him to the Eucharistic community. Only then does the newly baptized for the first time bring his gift of the altar as an expression of his co-responsibility for the Church and eat with the whole community the same Body and Blood of the Savior. This is only the beginning of the Christian neophyte's life, that is, newly baptized. His bond with Christ and the Church, which was created at the time of baptism, it should be deepened more and more through participation in the Eucharist. So when, together with the local Church, he fully and consciously participates in the Holy Mass,, his relationship with Christ and with all the baptized is revealed.
A reminder of the communion of baptism with the Eucharist is sprinkling holy water before Holy Mass., as well as saying goodbye with holy water at the entrance to the church.
Your bond with the Church
Your path to the Church was a bit different than, for example,. the way of St.. Paul or some adult catechumen. You were baptized as an infant. At that time, you couldn't even raise an act of faith yourself. You were unable to choose the way of Christ. However, you were not left unattended. Already then the Church, I mean your parents, as well as godparents, took care of you. It was they who brought you to the Church and asked you to join the group of believers in Christ. They, too, undertook at baptism to lead you to your own faith and to a life according to the Gospel. For many years you have been brought up in the faith of the Church. You used his help. This is how faith, where you were baptized, it was slowly becoming your personal faith and you had already made your choice.
All this the Church has done for you. What are you going to do for the Church? ? Christ wants, that all baptized people may fulfill their responsibilities, entrusted to them at their baptism. You too have received from Christ the right and duty to make spiritual sacrifices to God, proclaim the Good News and improve the world according to God's plans and intentions. The Church and the world need your work and they are counting on you. Holy Baptism also made you able to participate in the Eucharist. In it you strengthen and renew it, what baptism has done in you - to honor the Father in heaven and to save the world.
How will I answer God ?
I am not alone on my way to God. I owe my relationship with Christ to the Church. I am a living part of the Church from the moment of my baptism. How will I do it?? that the relationship with Christ may grow in me and in others ? Do I remember not only about myself in my prayers?, but also about the whole Church ? How I participate in the Eucharistic Assembly of the Church ? How I am preparing to preach the Good News to others ? How do I use school, to prepare to serve others ? During the evening prayer, I will reflect on the words of this prayer :
,,Almighty god, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who freed you from sin and restored you of water and the Holy Spirit, He himself anoints you with the chrism of salvation, that you may be included in the People of God and remain in union with Christ the Priest, Prophet and King for eternal life " (new rite of baptism of children - anointing with chrism).
1. Dlaczego Chrystus skierował św. Paul to the Church in Damascus ?
2. Jak Kościół przygotowuje katechumena do chrztu ?
3. Jakie znaki towarzyszą przyjęciu katechumena do Kościoła ?
4. Jakie znaczenie i zadanie mają chrzestni ?
5. Co uczynił Kościół dla mojego zjednoczenia z Chrystusem ?
6. Do czego Chrystus powołuje każdego ochrzczonego ?
6. Christ's command: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, And the Holy Spirit " (Mt 28, 19).
7. Praktyka Kościoła: The sacrament of baptism is administered by the Church through priests and deacons. In some cases, it does so through every Christian, and even a non-Christian, if only he would like to act in the name of the Church.
■ Task :
Ask for the date of your baptism and write it down in your notebook.