THE SEAL OF HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN STAMPED ON YOU

THE SEAL OF HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN STAMPED ON YOU

By Fr. Felix (African Times Guest Writer)

One of the developments since the earlier

Pauline letters has been that the division

between Jew and gentile has been firmly

overcome: ‘In him we have received our

inheritance. In him you too have been marked

with the seal of the Spirit’.

The division is no longer a threat or a worry, as

it had been at the beginning, when there was

still unease and hostility about observance of

the Jewish Law by Christians.

These two keywords are so familiar that we can

slide over them without noticing. But by

baptism we have become co-heirs with Christ,

sharing with him an inheritance of all the

sevenfold blessing announced in this passage.

In the modern Church the ‘sealing with the

Spirit’ is more associated with Confirmation

than with Baptism, but in the early Church the

two sacraments had not yet been separated,

and the gift of the Spirit was seen as occurring

fully in Baptism.

The word ‘pledge’ is rich in hope, for a pledge is

a first instalment of payment: it has no sense

unless further payment is to follow.

The gift of the Spirit which inspires a Christian

to expansive generosity in all aspects of the

Christian life is a ‘down payment’ issuing in the

full riches of life in Christ.

In a further sense the gift of the spirit is a

pledge, in that it is always an inspiration to

further use of the gifts. A grace is an increase

of love, a deepening of the personal relationship

to God, which in turn leads to further joyful

generosity.

The Word of The Lord teaches us that in

baptism you have been stamped into your

divinity as a child through Jesus. In

confirmation you have been filled with the

power of the Spirit for action. In priesthood you

have anointed us men who become living

Blessed Sacrament of your Son Jesus . To give

us the courage to enjoy worthily great privilege.

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