The epistle for this week comes from the sixth chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. The text can be found here.

Baptism is less about washing and more about drowning.
-Father David Romanik

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St.-Augustines-Baptism-by-Joseph-BriffaShould we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?

He knows more of grace than you or me, murderer and oppressor that he was. But the scales have fallen from his eyes.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

The only way forward, he pleads, the only way forward is to die. To walk away from the ego projects of this world. We are soaked in the death of Jesus.

Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

This death, this suicide, carries with it the promise of a resurrection. Yes, a new body at the Last Day, but, even now, a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

The illogic of it stands clear: Only through death can there be life. True strength lies not in power and prestige, but in broken humility.

We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.

Not our physical bodies (this is not an ethereal ascetic gnosticism), but the body of sin. The self whose worth is measured in dollar bills and hugs. Murdering the ego brings freedom.

But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

We cannot follow where he goes, except in the Way he went. Death unto life. Shadows unto light.

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

The illusions have been laid bare; there is no return. Once the sin project, the self validation project, is exposed as bankrupt, it loses its power. Forever dead now to sin, but overflowing with the life of Love.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Amen.

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