The very first liturgical action in the Rite of Baptism isn’t pouring water – it is marking the one to recieve baptism with the sign of the cross – traced on the forehead. At the same time speaking the words, “I claim you for Christ…” They are powerful words, words of life and death. Words that mark a new beginning. “I claim you for Christ…” This is who you are and whose you are. Similar words mark the public ministry of the Messiah, “This is my beloved Son…”

Then off all go into the world, into the wilderness that can be this life.

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