Page 11 - Water of Life Infant Baptism
P. 11

The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life. John 4:14
Water is a sign of cleansing and new life. It washes and refreshes. It keeps the body healthy. It is necessary for survival. In drought-prone lands water is a precious commodity.
In baptism, water is a sign that Christ gives life, cleanses from sin, renews and frees us to love and serve God.
The water used in baptism is blessed in a prayer that involves the sending of the Holy Spirit:
We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the water of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
The association between water and new life is a potent theme in the Scriptures. It appears in the creation of the world, at the Israelites’ crossing of the Red Sea, their entry across the Jordan into the promised land. Jesus himself is baptised in the river Jordan and speaks of himself as offering ‘living water.’
The breaking of water in childbirth is also a powerful symbol and reality of new life. In fact, in Christian tradition motherhood and birth are images used to describe the experience of faith and the lifegiving nature of the Church.
All this rich imagery is in play as your child is baptised with water and the words:
N., I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
For reflection at home: be attentive to the gift of water in everyday life; e.g., drinking, bathing, swimming...
Prayer tip: As you bathe your child, be reminded of the water of baptism. Pray a simple prayer such as: “God of life, bring our child to living water.”
  Water of life!
Water is lifegiving.
In the psalms we find images of trees that flourish when planted by water, and the deer that longs for running streams.
Water is lifegiving, yet it can also be dangerous.
Noah and his family in the ark safely rode the waters of the flood, yet others perished in those same waters.
As the Israelites passed safely through the Red Sea, those same waters engulfed Pharaoh’s chariots.
In the Scriptures, these life and death moments amidst water point to the great moment when Jesus passed through death on a cross and into the freedom of the new life of resurrection.
In the Rite of Baptism we “pass through” water. With Christ we are drawn into this movement “from death to life.”
The water of baptism signifies that we are freed from the powers of darkness and we embrace God’s life and love.

   9   10   11   12   13