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Jojimar Kenneth M.

Gonowon October 14, 2009


Second Year Theology Sacraments of Initiation

1. What particular aspect in the theology promotes the collective idea of Christian Initiation?

Baptism is our entry into Gods plan for the world. Confirmation and Eucharist open the door
wider.
From these very statements, they give us some remarkable points to ponder about. Thus it
summarize the connectivity of the other sacraments not only the sacraments of initiation but also
the proceeding sacraments.
Baptism is not just a bath; it is a birth into a whole new realm of possibilitiesGods possibilities.
All of creation is an expression of the Divine Artist. The love that is Gods inner Trinitarian
life spills over into creation. We see this most clearly in Gods masterpiece, Jesus, who is the
reflection of Gods glory and the exact imprint of Gods very being
1
. If sacraments are something
like that glass in the picture frame, which we look through to see the deeper reality, there is no more
perfect sacrament than Jesus himself. Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all
creation
2

In Jesus we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see
3

Baptism is our entryour birthinto Gods plan for the world. We go down into the water,
we put on Christ and we are taken up into the mystery that is Gods inner life of Trinitarian lovea
love which burns away all guilt; a love which heals all shame. We are Christ-ened, we are divinized
(theosis). And we hear the Voice: You are my child! I love you.
At Baptism we hear the voice of God assuring us of our deepest reality: We are beloved of
God. At Baptism, as with all the sacraments, the ritual expresses a moment that extends beyond the
ritual itself. The voice we hear at Baptism is a special kind of communication. It is not merely
information; but it is a symbolic exchange. We go into the water (sacrament, liturgy, worship); we
hear the voice (Word; Sacred Scripture); and we come up changed (mission, ethics). In this pattern
we find worship, Sacred Scripture and ethics, the three pillars of Christian life.

1
Hebrews 1:3, all quotes are NRSV
2
Colossians 1:15
3
Mass of Christmas, Preface I
In our sacramental system, the bath of Baptism is followed by the oil of Confirmation.
Anointed with the Holy Spirit and clothed in Christ, we are invited to the Eucharistic table. At that
table, we not only hear the voice that we are loved, we experience communion with God. We feast
on the divine flesh and are thus ourselves divinized. We, who eat and drink the Body and Blood of
Christ are taken up into that Body and we become Christs Body. The divine food does not merely
empower us to imitate Christ; it enables us to live in Christ.
These sacraments have the incessant process of development on the part of the person. They
enable the person to be ready, prepared and having the grace that the sacraments are offering. We
cannot rebuff the fact that the aspects of these sacraments cannot be broken down into pieces
because of the unitive and oneness of the sacraments of initiation. The sacraments can be viewed as
a whole and they will give us the sense of unification, incorporation and completeness in
Christianity.
2. Examine the rituals of the three sacraments. Identify the overlapping elements that
ritually bind them together.
Gospels tell of that Jesus missioned His disciples to go out, preach the Good News of salvation;
to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Ritual process of Christian initiation is the beginning of a journey that concludes only with
the vision of God. In other words, one is initiated into a way of life, a living out of the implications
of baptism. Such a journey is not concluded until each Christian meets the Lord.
An example of overlapping elements is the different views about the Holy Spirit in the aspects of
Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. In Baptism, how the Spirit is related to baptism,
candidate, and community provides another thematic complex for understanding Christian
initiation. Luke does not connect the Spirit with baptism because the prophetic Spirit has nothing to
do with sin. Instead, such a Spirit is given after sins are forgiven. As a consequence, in Luke's
church, baptism is followed by the laying on of hands for the ecstatic Spirit. For them the Spirit is
the agent of the forgiveness of sins as well as of participation in Christ (Paul) and of rebirth as
children of God (John). Thus, the theologies of the New Testament relative to the Spirit are diverse,
beginning with the more primitive notion of the Spirit as a transient prophetic power and ending
with the theme of the Spirit as personal gift to individual and community, the means whereby Jesus
would continue to be remembered and celebrated in the future church.
Another example would be the citation of the creed which takes an important role in the
sacraments. As the creed states that, for the context of the Filipino, we are identified as Catholics
and we stand for as Disciples of Christ, united in His Church. First, It helps us to unite us into the
one worshipping community which offers us strength and support. Secondly, it supplies the basic
basis for guiding our affective religiosity.
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In addition, the Trinitarian formula is the most essential because primarily it is very present in
the rite itself. From the very beginning of the rite and even within the rite itself it is very present
particularly in the gospel reading the signing by hand of the priest in the book of scriptures. Another
will be the blessing and the consecration is very conspicuous. The gesture of the priest in putting
the oil of chrism on the forehead of the confirmandi and even the baptizandi. These facts are very
remarkable. They give us the Christological, Pneumatological and Patristic aspects of the
sacraments. Actually it is very present in all the aspect of the seven sacraments and definitely it
emphasize on the sacrament of initiation.
In the Eucharist the community continues to "remember" its baptism into the Lord who died and
was raised that all might be saved. Commemorating the mighty acts of God among his people,
particularly the paschal mystery of Jesus, they petition God that they may continue to live in the
power of these signs of God's love. With assurance that they can, they offer themselves, through
and with Christ and in the power of the Spirit, to the Father who calls the community to fullness of
life and love.
3. Make a Critique on our Local/ parish celebration of the sacraments of Baptism,
Confirmation and the Eucharist. Do they live up to their name as Sacraments of Christian
initiation?
In order to know the basics of the sacraments, proper catechesis must be given. From this
proper catechesis; the people would know what are the proper and improper things that we must do
during the Liturgical celebration or in the aspect of Doctrine. The proper person in doing this
catechism for the laity is the parish priest. Although there were people who know something about
catechism but proper instructions should be given to the paroquianos in order for them to limit
some misinterpretations and even the ignorance of the sacraments. The pastor has the responsibility
of his flock to share the meaning of the sacraments in proper time, space and disposition. This
would be very important. It must not be subjected to negligence.

4
Cathechism for Filipino Catholics, 238.
First, the people sometimes do not know what is this for a lot of questions arise perhaps we
can trace this in their ignorance, there is lacking of knowledge. The people should be catechized. In
the parish of Sta. Rita de Casia in Guagua, Ronald and I were assigned in the catechetical formation
of the parish. We were instructed to give catechism for those who will be godparents for their
inaanak and also the parents involved in the baptism. This would be a good practice because they
will be prepared for the celebration for the upcoming week of Baptism. From this, they are properly
instructed to know what to do in Baptism. They would become at ease and open to the reality that
their child will be a new member of the church. Not only for the sake of gayagaya without
knowing the real meaning of the sacraments.
The people in the parish are not that difficult to catechize. Our task being the evangelizers and
catechizers is to translate the profound words that were seen in the book in the level that they will
understand it deeply. Conceivably, the reason why people is very ignorant because of the
profoundness of words. If we give the books to them concerning about the doctrinal canon, CCC
etc., definitely they will not read them because they do not understand what it means unless they are
educated ones who took up theological studies. But the truth is they did not undergo such kind of
academic formation regarding those studies. Now our task lies in this kind of work. To share our
knowledge and our understanding with same vernacular they are speaking. Through this, we can
gradually see connectedness of people in the liturgy, doctrine and faith. Perhaps, through the proper
instruction must be given in order to give meaning to the other sacraments. The misinterpretations
could be minimized if there is this dialogue and updating and seminar of the different aspect of the
Church which concerns with the ecclesial, Christological, doctrinal, ecumenical, social, cultural,
and anthropological areas.