The second “Mark of Mission” invites us all to share in baptizing new believers. Br. Nicholas Bartoli explores how we can help others share in the “baptism of Spirit,” the inward grace that baptism by water recognizes and remembers.
Transcript: This week we’re looking at the second mark of mission, teaching, baptizing, and nurturing believers. For me, the word that stands out there is baptizing, and when I think about what it might mean to baptize believers, or help them be baptized, I think especially about the typical Lent period of preparation for baptism. So in days of old, Lent was very important for the community to come together and help those preparing for baptism be baptized.
Now there are two kinds of baptism generally. There is the sacramental form, which we’re familiar with, the baptizing of someone with water sort of as a symbol and a sign of something that’s going on internally, which is the second form, the baptism of spirit. Both John the Baptist and Jesus both talk about these two types of baptism – of water and spirit. Sometimes the baptism of spirit is referred to as a baptism of fire. And I guess the way they might relate is that the baptism of water is a symbol pointing to the inner reality of this baptism of the heart, of this sort of new relationship that we find with God through Christ.
And of course this raises the question – I mean for something like that, something that seems to be more in the arena of grace given by God, you know – “What can we do as fellow believers to help someone experience that kind of baptism, that kind of turning toward Christ, that baptism of the heart?” And I think really it’s very simple. I think all forms of true spirituality involve this idea of remembering. We’re not really learning anything new in this kind of baptism. We’re sort of remembering something we’ve already known but have forgotten somehow. So perhaps as a community, we need to come together and just sort of remind ourselves of what God’s truth is. And how do we do that? By giving ourselves in service out of love for each other. And through those simple acts of love and generosity, help each other come to this form of baptism, this baptism of the spirit, this in-dwelling of Christ. So we might ask ourselves: Are there people in our lives that we can think of that we might be able to help by serving out of love, by bringing the baptism of spirit to them?
– Br.Nicholas Bartoli
Question: Who in your life can you help by bringing the baptism of the Spirit to them?
This activity invites you to explore the Baptismal Covenant in prayer and reflection during your day and throughout the week. Each morning, write a short prayer based on that day’s question from the Baptismal Covenant. Each evening, reflect on how you are living into this aspect of your faith.