Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 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. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I have a Lutheran friend in Tanzania who has for decades been an evangelist among the Maasai, who are traditionally cattle herders. When Herb speaks to them about baptism, he tells them that it is a spiritual brand. In baptism, God marks us as his own. We belong to God. When Paul reminds the Romans to think of themselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus, he is reminding them whom they belong to. During all the healthcare discussions in the spring, one commentator noted, “If you don’t have health care, you’re not free.” The truth that Paul proclaims is that “If you don’t belong to God, you’re not free.”
—Fr. Martin Connell, SJ is Professor of Education at John Carroll University and Rector of the John Carroll University Jesuit community.
Lord, you know me and you have called me by name. Help me to respond in love so that I can root my life, my very identity, in you alone.
—The Jesuit Prayer team