The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters... Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original Sin and actual sin – and begin to live a new life with God.
In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer our universal call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love. For more information on the Sacrament of Baptism, click here.
Not only does the Sacrament of Penance free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to forgive. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned."
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In Confession, we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
For more information on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, click here.
The Eucharist in the Catholic Church is a Sacrament celebrated as "the source and summit" of the Christian life. The Eucharist is celebrated daily during the celebration of Mass, the eucharistic liturgy. For more information on the Eucharist, click here.
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation and union of man and woman and ends with "the wedding feast of the Lamb" (Rev 19:7, 9). Scripture often refers to marriage, its origin and purpose, the meaning God gave to it, and its renewal in the covenant made by Jesus with his Church. Man and woman were created for each other.
By their marriage, the couple witnesses Christ's spousal love for the Church. One of the Nuptial Blessings in the liturgical celebration of marriage refers to this in saying, "Father, you have made the union of man and wife so holy a mystery that it symbolizes the marriage of Christ and his Church."
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is a Covenant, which is more than a contract. A Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The Marriage Covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other, and God. The celebration of matrimony is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy. For more information on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, click here.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
In the Church's Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His miracles through curing others of their disease were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of His plan to conquer sin and death by dying on the cross, defeating hell, and rising from the grave.
The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age. For more information on the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, click here.