Objective. 3. Once you have become familiar with the information, please work through the entire lesson outline page-by-page with your students.

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1 Objective To help the teens come to a deeper understanding of the foundational aspects of the Sacrament of Baptism, and how this first sacrament of the Church is their gateway for salvation. To Prepare for this Lesson To help you gain a deeper understanding of this topic, please read: CCC (The Paschal Mystery of the Church s Sacraments) CCC (The Sacraments of Christian Initiation) CCC (The Sacrament of Baptism) 2. Read through the entire lesson outline to familiarize yourself with the topic and the flow of the lesson. As you read through it, be sure to underline, highlight, and make any notations you feel would help YOU to convey this information to the students in a style and manner that is comfortable for YOU. 3. Once you have become familiar with the information, please work through the entire lesson outline page-by-page with your students. 4. Please note, you may not deviate from or change this information in any way without the consent of the youth office. 1 Shared / JYM / JYM2 Lessons / Sacraments - BAPTISM 1

2 IN THE CLASSROOM To begin this study of the Seven Sacraments, we will start with a brief introduction of how the Sacraments came about, who started them, and why we still have them. Question: What is a Sacrament? Answer: A Sacrament is a physical encounter with Christ NOT a symbolic encounter, or a figurative encounter or a philosophical encounter a PHYSICAL ENCOUNTER. You get a little of Him on you. Back-in-the-day, a sacrament was defined as an outward sign of God s inward grace. This is true, but it s important that you understand that it is just as much an encounter with Jesus as when you physically encounter a friend, or family member. Jesus Established the Sacraments The sacraments were instituted (established / began) by Jesus himself and clearly find their roots in sacred scripture. Every one of the Seven Sacraments is found in Scripture, and Christ started each and every one of them. The Bible also documents that the Apostle s administered and received the same Seven Sacraments that we practice today. Christ left them to grow the Church that He began, and they were doing as they had been instructed. Through Apostolic Succession, the Seven Sacraments have been handed down from generation to generation through an unbroken line of bishops that traces its roots all the way back to Jesus himself. (READ CCC 1114) Other Christian denominations (Protestants) discontinued practicing some of the sacraments when they broke away from the Catholic Church (around 1500AD). But make no mistake about it; all Seven Sacraments have been a part of Christianity from the very beginning, and continue to be a central part of the identity of the Catholic Christian community. Some non-catholic Christians ask the question, Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? A Catholic can answer, Yes, every time I receive one of the Seven Sacraments, because Jesus and the Trinity is truly present in each one. Power of the Sacraments (READ CCC 1116) The Sacraments possess power that is not dependent on the knowledge of the person receiving the sacrament. When we give water to a plant, the plant does not have to know and understand what water is to receive life from it. In just the same way an infant can receive life from the waters of Baptism, without understanding what is going on at the time. The Sacraments actually have the power to forgive sins, and feed us with the Body and Blood of Christ. Even if we do not mentally or physically feel different after receiving a sacrament, the benefit is still there. 2 Shared / JYM / JYM2 Lessons / Sacraments - BAPTISM 2

3 The effects of the sacraments are not dependent on how we feel at the time. Contrast this to the crucifix, for example. The power of the crucifix is dependent on the reaction of the individual. Some people walk by a crucifix and never feel any different, while for others the crucifix has transformed their understanding of Christ s sacrifice and love for us. The Sacraments of Christian Initiation Each of the Seven Sacraments serves a specific purpose in the life of every Catholic, and at the same time, the Sacraments compliment and strengthen one another. The Sacraments are categorized into three groups: The Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation These three sacraments empower us with the gifts of God through his Holy Spirit; these gifts enable us to be full members of the Christian family, enabling us to be followers of Jesus in every sense. The Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick These sacraments deliver to us the powerful mercy (and forgiveness) of God for our physical and spiritual well-being. The Sacraments of Service to Others: Holy Orders, Holy Matrimony These two sacraments enable us to preserve the full and living gospel of God, by maintaining and living our faith through the Mass and within our families. We begin our study of the Sacraments with the Sacraments of Initiation. Group Discussion: Name the 7 Sacraments (Write the Sacraments on the board as they are listed) The Seven Sacraments are: Baptism Reconciliation (Confession) Eucharist (Holy Communion) Confirmation Holy Orders Holy Matrimony Anointing of the Sick The Sacraments of Initiation are Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. These are the foundations of every Christian life: Through Baptism, Christians are born anew, and brought fully into the family of God Through the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Communion), the Christian receives the food we need for eternal life Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are strengthened, and empowered with the Holy Gifts that enable us to live out our lives as God desires. (Ask a student to read aloud, Catechism 1212) This week, our study will focus primarily on the Sacrament of Baptism. 3 Shared / JYM / JYM2 Lessons / Sacraments - BAPTISM 3

4 The Sacrament of Baptism: Miserere: Prayer of Repentance (Read Psalm 51): This Psalm mentions the fact that we are sinful from the womb (original sin) and that we require God to wash us clean. Also, this Old Testament writing shows that the Jews were aware of the idea of original sin, even if they didn t call it by that name. The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Read Matthew 22:1-14): Pay special attention to the Wedding Garment. This wedding garment is the white garment that we put on in Baptism. Rejection of the (white) Wedding Garment means rejection of Baptism and the Holy Spirit. The Triumph of the Elect (Read Revelation 7:9-14): Note the mention of the white Garment in this vision of Heaven. Again, the garment is the garment of Baptism, we are called to keep unstained and wash in the Blood of the Lamb. (Revelation reads like a dream sequence, things happen simultaneously and do not follow chronologically, sort of like in our dreams, how we can jump from place to place, etc. It is a vision of Heaven, where there is no time and past, present and future all come together.) Washing in the Blood of the Lamb refers to acceptance of salvation through the death of Christ, we celebrate this primarily through the Eucharist, while confession and indulgences are another method of keeping our garments unstained. WHO SAID to Baptize? (READ Matthew 28:16-20) We see from this Scripture passage from Matthew that, just after rising from His death on the cross, Our Lord Jesus Christ is instructing the Apostles to go out and baptize. (READ Mark 16:16) In this Scripture passage from Mark, we hear Our Lord talking about the importance of being baptized; that it is necessary for salvation. (READ John 3:5) And again, in this Scripture passage from John, it is Christ again, stating what is necessary to get into heaven. (Being born of water and the Spirit is Christ s reference to the Sacrament of Baptism) These Scripture passage, and many others, help us to determine WHO initiated the Sacrament of Baptism Jesus Christ! And not only did He initiate the Sacrament, He made it clear that it s necessary, and that everyone should do it. Even He, Himself was baptized as the perfect model of how important it is to be baptized. (READ Matthew 3:13-17) It s very important to take notice that Christ began performing miracles ONLY AFTER He was baptized by John the Baptist. Another sign of the importance of Baptism we can only achieve true goodness through God. 4 Shared / JYM / JYM2 Lessons / Sacraments - BAPTISM 4

5 There are many stories of the apostles baptizing people in the early church: (If time allows, please read these verses, otherwise, read them before class and be able to mention them to the class.) Acts 2:38, 8:12-17, 10:48, 16:15, 16:31, Romans 6:3 WHY do we Baptize? (please note if time does not allow, you may simply reference that the following information comes from the Catechism, without actually having the students read the passages aloud.) Here are some very important reasons WHY we baptize: Through Baptism we are born into the church. Baptism is the door that gives access to the other sacraments. (Read CCC 1213 IF time allows) The sacrament of Baptism is the foundation and the initial step into the Christian life. By Baptism ALL sins are forgiven: Original Sin, personal sins as well as all punishment for sin. Baptism removes EVERYTHING that would keep us from getting into Heaven. (Read CCC 1263 IF time allows) Baptism also makes us a new creature, a son or daughter of God. We become members of the Body of Christ. We become a temple of the Holy Spirit. (Read CCC 1265 & 1279 IF time allows) Baptism is a welcome into the Church community. (Read 3:26-29) The person who is baptized is initiated into the Christian community. In this sacrament we come forth from the waters of Baptism and are born into God s family and receive the family name Christian. Through Baptism we are made members of Christ and members of his body, the Church. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. His work, His mission in the world is now our own. Through Baptism we are freed from original sin, and reborn as a child of God and incorporated into the family of the Catholic Community. (Read Genesis 3:1-24) This reading from Genesis is an account of the first sin by Adam and Eve, and is known as The Fall of Man. This is the first, or the original sin which took place at the beginning of the history of man. The whole of human history is marked by this original fault (THE FIRST SIN; THE Original Sin) which was FREELY COMMITTED by our first parents, Adam and Eve. As we know, we were all created by God, just like Adam and Eve. God has given each one of us, including Adam and Eve, FREE WILL that is, the power to obey Him (choose Him), or disobey Him (to turn away from Him). Original sin, the sin committed by Adam and Eve, was the rejection of God, which resulted in the loss of sanctifying grace. With their sin, Adam and Eve turned away from God, and deprived themselves and all their descendants of the original state of grace, which God had given them. Because of the original sin of Adam and Eve, we need to be saved by Jesus and restored to God s grace. Only Baptism can restore this loss of grace. 5 Shared / JYM / JYM2 Lessons / Sacraments - BAPTISM 5

6 Baptism washes away original sin and fills us with God s sanctifying grace. Baptism leaves an indelible spiritual mark on our hearts that cannot be taken away. We are forever marked as belonging to God. Baptism changes us so radically that we can never be unbaptized. Baptism makes us members of Christ s body, and this can never be undone. Once Baptized, always Baptized. (Read CCC 1272 IF time allows) We know very well that Jesus was completely without sin His entire life. And Jesus was born free from even the original sin of Adam and Eve. So He didn t need baptism to wash away sin. Yet, even Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize Him. John the Baptist was surprised by this request. But as we read in the scripture verse from Matthew (3:13-17), Jesus said, Allow it for now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was about to start His ministry of preaching the message of God s kingdom and He wanted to be baptized to set an example for His followers (and for us), showing that baptism is the gateway into heaven. Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives us access to the other sacraments. HOW do we Baptize? SYMBOLS: Each of the Seven Sacraments have symbols that help to identify the sacrament, and each of the symbols have specific importance in helping us to understand the meaning of each sacrament. The Symbols of Baptism One of the primary elements in celebrating the sacrament of Baptism is the community you and me, and everyone else who is present. When we participate in a Baptism celebration, we are pledging to help support and guide the faith growth of the person being baptized. There are four different symbols that are used during the sacrament of baptism: o water o oil o a white garment (cloth) o a candle WATER: Water is an essential element for life. A person will die from lack of water (dehydration) much quicker than from lack of food. Our bodies consist of over ninety percent water, and water covers much more of the earth s surface than land. Water is a source of life, and a means for cleansing and making all things new. In Baptism, Christ becomes our source of living water, and we are called to become living water for a thirsty world. Through the waters of Baptism we are cleansed of the original sin and receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. And each time we enter the Church, we dip our fingers into the Holy water and make the sign of the cross in remembrance of our own baptism. OIL: In our lives oil is used to strengthen (as a source of nutrition), to protect (as a lubricant for machines) and to heal (as a medical salve). In the sacrament of Baptism, oil is a sign of being anointed by the Holy Spirit, our spiritual source of strength, protection and healing. (When we are being Confirmed, we are anointed with oil again sealing-in the power of the Holy Spirit, and completing this anointing which began with our baptism!) 6 Shared / JYM / JYM2 Lessons / Sacraments - BAPTISM 6

7 WHITE GARMENT: For special occasions in our lives we wear particular types of clothing, most often to reflect the nature and importance of the occasion or event we are attending. In Baptism, the newly baptized are given a white garment, which symbolizes that the person baptized has put on Christ. The garment is white, reflecting the purity of being cleansed of sin. As a garment, it is quite simple and plain, since the beauty of the gift of the individual comes from God who dwells within each person. All of the baptized are clothed in similar white garments, for all of them are equal in the eyes of God, and equally valued as new members of our faith community. CANDLE: In the celebration of Baptism, a candle is lit from the Paschal (Easter) candle and given to each newly baptized person. The lighted candle signifies that Christ has enlightened the baptized person, and in Christ, those who are baptized become the light of the world. It is the light of Christ that guides our lives as Christians, and we are called to bring that light of Christ to our world by being Christ-like in our daily lives. So what does it mean to be baptized? Being baptized means... being welcomed and initiated into the family of God being healed and becoming a person who is healing to others seeing others as Christ would see them being positive and life-giving in our attitudes and actions turning to Christ for guidance and prayer turning to the faith community for support in times of need, confusion, and doubt staying connected to Jesus and to the faith community by participating in church activities, celebrations, and regularly receiving our sacraments putting on Christ and being Christ s light to the world Summary Challenge: Baptism is our initiation into the Catholic Christian Community and restores a graced relationship with God which was damaged by the original sin of Adam and Eve. Baptism is the first of the seven sacraments, which provides the foundation for the Christian life. The symbols that are used during a baptism are: water to be cleansed from original sin; oil to be sealed in Christ; a candle to be given the light of Christ; and a white garment to be clothed in Christ. By our baptism we are called to be followers of Jesus in all we say and do. CLOSING PRAYER: Close this class session by gathering the students in prayer. 7 Shared / JYM / JYM2 Lessons / Sacraments - BAPTISM 7

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