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Monday, April 20, 1998

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Acts 4:23-31
Psalm 2
John 3:1-8

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the meaning of life

"I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God's kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit." —John 3:5

When Nicodemus talked of signs and wonders, Jesus spoke of Baptism, of being begotten of water and Spirit. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, He promised her the "living water" of Baptism, a fountain within her "leaping up to provide eternal life" (Jn 4:10, 14). Even when the dead body of Jesus was hanging on the cross, His body language spoke of Baptism, as blood and water flowed from His pierced side (Jn 19:34). Before Jesus ascended, He gave the Church the "great commission" to make disciples of all nations and baptize them (Mt 28:19). Before Jesus ascended, He also promised: "Within a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5). Then the Church was born when three thousand were baptized on the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:41). In the fifth from the last verse of the Bible, Jesus again refers to Baptism when He invites us to "accept the gift of life-giving water" (Rv 22:17).

The Church got Jesus' point. Therefore, on the greatest day of the year, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, in every Mass and every Catholic church in the world, we are invited to renew our baptismal promises. Live your Baptism. This is Jesus' will and the meaning of our lives.

Prayer:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I believe in You. By Your grace, I reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises.

Promise:  "The place where they were gathered shook as they prayed. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God's word with confidence." —Acts 4:31

Praise:  The members of Susan's home-based community celebrate each other's baptismal anniversaries and thereby remember their own baptisms.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Lent and the Renewal of Our Baptismal Promises.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997