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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day

When Jesus washed my sins away! That is the main theme of the popular song. I now

have a CD that I compiled, with MP3's from 3 different artists singing this. I really like

to listen to it in the car, or at the end of the day at work. For some reason it is very

uplifting, and I suspect that most people have a similar response to some degree.

For several days when listening to this I was thinking it was referring to Easter time.

That is a little troubling, since the crucifixion was a terrible thing from one point of

view. But really there are a lot of parallels from our baptism (the washing that I think

was actually referred to in the song) to Christ's death and resurrection. Both acts

were done, according to my understanding and some commentary that I have read, so

that our sins could be forgiven.

Original sin is the traditional baptismal absolution. I was taught that we are all born

with original sin. After we are baptized, this is forgiven. Traditionally, Catholics are

baptized as babies, so that we might be able to go to Heaven if we die in infancy or

childhood. I do realize that this has been rethought by the reformationists. I have not

had the opportunity to examine this controversy in any detail, nor do I really think I

could fully understand the issues involved or make an independent judgment about


In all honesty, I don't think that there is a fine distinction here*. I am following the

pathway of my forebears. I do not know with any certainty how many generations back

the practice of Catholicism goes on my maternal or paternal side. But I do value my

religion of birth, since I undoubtedly was influenced by it the most.

What I do appreciate is the literal and symbolic greatness of Jesus' being baptized in

the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Also I am blessed to have been brought up in the

Christian Catholic faith which has revealed the presence of Jesus on earth, his

becoming a man, his teaching, then ultimately his persecution and death. Finally, the

resurrection and all the things which come after, that are revealed in the teachings

and traditions of the Church. With this knowledge I am satisfied that truly today is a

Happy Day, as is every day! Amen.

*To do list: research this issue soon!

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