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
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.