Louis Cretey (1630/1635 - c 1702)
The Baptism of Christ
Oil on canvas
94 x 130 cm
Vatican Museums, Vatican City
The Vatican has many works of art on the theme of The Baptism of Christ and this is but one of them
Cretey is regarded as an original French artist
Here we see a Christ who has humbled himself to be part of humanity taking his turn in obedience to the Father
This week in the Vatican the Pope has focused in on the Sacrament of Baptism
On Wednesday he began his Catechesis on the Sacraments beginning with Baptism
"Baptism is the Sacrament on which our very faith is founded and which grafts us as a living member onto Christ and his Church. ...
Yet a question may stir within us: is Baptism really necessary to live as Christians and follow Jesus?
After all, isn’t it merely a ritual, a formal act of the Church in order to give a name to the little boy or girl?
This question can arise. And on this point what the Apostle Paul writes is illuminating:“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4).Therefore, it is not a formality! It is an act that touches the depths of our existence.
A baptized child and an unbaptized child are not the same.
A person who is baptized and a person who is not baptized are not the same.
We, by Baptism, are immersed in that inexhaustible source of life which is the death of Jesus, the greatest act of love in all of history; and thanks to this love we can live a new life, no longer at the mercy of evil, of sin and of death, but in communion with God and with our brothers and sisters."