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!