Filling the Font of Salvation

August 29, 2021

We have been invited to bring water to our font.  We have been invited to take something from our own homes and experience what God can do.  He transforms that water, He makes it Holy.  What a love God has for us. I am so thrilled and thankful to all who participated in the way that they could.  Filling the font gives God the opportunity to show us the power of Divine Love.  In the Blessing of Water and Invocation of God over the Water found in the Order of Baptism of Children, the celebrant invites us as a gathering assembly to be transformed in the praying of the words.  The Blessing invites us to recall the covenant of God.

“O God, whose Spirit
in the first moments of the world’s creation
hovered over the waters,
so that the very substance of water                                                                                                                              would even then take to itself the power to sanctify;”

Just pondering that faith statement allows our imagination to be uplifted to what God plans for our lives.  If this is what God will show forth in water, can we imagine what He will do through us, with us and in us? But God does not end here.  The invitation deepens and continues.

“O God, who by the outpouring of the flood
foreshadowed regeneration,
so that from the mystery of one and the same
element of water
would come and end of vice and a beginning of virtue;”

 The covenant of Noah with God reminds us that sinfulness can be cleansed and washed, goodness will prevail and God will not give up on us. But God does not end here; He offers more.

“O God who caused the children of Abraham
to pass dry-shod through the Red Sea,
so that the chosen people,
set free from slavery to Pharaoh,
would prefigure the people of the baptized.

We are to remind ourselves that just as God led a people from slavery to liberation, He wants to lead us from the slavery of our sins to the peace of forgiveness. We are now the chosen.  All of this power is found in this water. But God continues.

We move from the Old Testament to the New Testament.  We are to immerse ourselves in all that Jesus did.

O God whose Son
baptized by John in the waters of the Jordan,
was anointed with the Holy Spirit,
and, as he hung upon the Cross,
gave forth water from His side along with blood,
and after his Resurrection, commanded his disciples:
‘Go forth, teach all nations, baptizing them
 in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’
 look now, we pray, upon the face of your Church
 and graciously unseal for her the fountain of Baptism.”

What words, what prayer, what openness!   All of this is what God is doing to this water and our lives.  He longs for us to return to the foot of the cross where the ultimate sacrifice for our sins was made.  He wants us to see that Blood and water flowed from his side creating the wellspring of our sacramental life.

This is a font of salvation.  Our movement through the water as we bless ourselves is a recommitment of ourselves to follow the Lord.  Experience His forgiveness, be fed at His table and trust in His plan for salvation.

This filling of this font is about the filling of ourselves.  It is allowing God to fill us with hope and strength, forgiveness and grace.  We are to allow ourselves to renew the commitment we have to faith knowing God is willing and ready to accept us, welcome us and change our lives.

Come Holy Spirit, dwell with us.

Father John J. Ouper