Baptism of Desire
Easter Wednesday, April 4, 2018
We have "communion (koinonia, fellowship) in the Holy Spirit" with all who are baptized. But Baptism
can be through water, blood, or desire.
In the sacrament we are "born of water and Spirit" (John 3:5). Those martyred while preparing for Baptism were "baptized in their blood." And some are baptized through "desire," the grace of unconditional acceptance of an invitation from God that might take any form. The Magi were invited through a star. Had they died in the desert before reaching Bethlehem they would have died Christians, because, sight unseen, they had "come to adore him"(Matthew 2:1).
When Peter spoke to Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, "the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word... Then Peter said, 'Can anyone withhold the water of Baptism from these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?'” (Acts 10:9). The manifestation of the Spirit took precedence over the sacramental sign.
We do not presume to judge who has received the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that in practice we should assume "whoever is not against you is for you” (Luke 9:50). So in our hearts we reverence all as children of our Father while we long to make our "communion in the Spirit" public and complete with everyone.
ACTION: Look for the "fruit of the Holy Spirit" (Galatians 5:22) in everyone you deal with.
PRAYER: Lord, let me recognize as children of God all who are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).