“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him” (1 Peter 3:18-22).
Baptism is the gateway to all the sacraments. In baptism, we receive the grace of justification (Sanctifying Grace) and become children of God. By Baptism—God’s work—we come to share in the Divine Life.
Baptism, however, is intimately joined to the Cross. In baptism, we die to self and become a new creation (cf. 2 Corninthian 5:17), born again from above (cf. John 3:3) and saved solely by the grace merited on Calvary by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
And so, the road to salvation necessarily leads through the Cross of Calvary because I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (see Galatians 2:20).
Question for Reflection: In what way is God calling me to die to self this day? What disordered attachment has a claim over me that needs to be broken?
Remember, you are dust, and to dust you will return. Repent and believe in the Gospel.
Deacon Bickerstaff is available to speak at your parish or event. Be sure to check out his Speaker Page to learn more. Into the Deep is a regular feature of the The Integrated Catholic Life™.
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