Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon was one of the feature speakers at the January 2021 Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) National Conference
Baptism is important as, through the anointing with Holy Chrism, we became a child of God, and experienced the Holy Spirit being released into our life.
Archbishop Jason Gordon said last Sunday that through baptism, faithful are sent into the world to “live the vocation which God calls us to, helping us understand who we are as children and part of His body.”
Referring to the Sunday’s gospel (Mark (1:7–11), he said, “The baptism of water is a baptism of preparation; the baptism of fire and the Holy Spirit is the baptism of mission.” Last Sunday was the Church’s celebration of the Baptism of the Lord which signalled the end of the Christmas season.
Speaking on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he explained, “For the Christian today, the Holy Spirit is not an optional extra in your life. It ent a fifth wheel in a car; it’s not something you have as an ornament on your shelf, or a certificate… you put up on a wall in a pretty place. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is what we need on a daily basis if we are going to live our life for God.”
If life is lived for God, he continued, “then it is the Holy Spirit that animates the whole Church to mission…the Holy Spirit animates the whole Church to sanctity…”
He said the gifts of the Holy Spirit are what “we use for mission in this Church”, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit are “what we need for inner transformation of our lives.” He concluded, “We can’t conceive of Christianity, brothers and sisters, without a baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
Archbishop Gordon said Christ was baptised “to take the full weight of sin of humanity on His shoulders and He went into the water to sanctify that water to wash away our sins.”
He added that many do not fully understand “the high cost” of His baptism as coupled with the dying on the cross, Jesus paid a high price for all to be God’s children, “which He paid willingly, willingly, willingly for your life and your salvation”.
He invited the small congregation gathered at the chapel on the compound of the CCR Retreat Centre, Caroni, and those listening online to contemplate the mystery of their own baptism.
The Archbishop also noted that the greatest obstacle to people living out their baptism was their ego (‘edging God out’). “The problem we have is we’re living out false identities” seeking the latest look, the latest gadget, “the latest this or that”, without realising that “our truest identity” is when we understand we are “beloved sons or daughters of God”, he said.
CCR Youth forum
The Archbishop was preaching the homily at the closing Mass of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal National Conference.
The event, held every other year, was conducted virtually January 9–10 because of COVID-19 restrictions banning large gatherings. Hundreds usually gather at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Tunapuna for the conference. This year, participants were invited to join via Zoom and YouTube.
CCR leader Deborah de Rosia welcomed all to the conference on Saturday and Sunday. The music ministry for praise and worship was led on both days by People of Praise Community founder Winston Garcia.
Archbishop Gordon’s opening address on the theme Let Us Build Acts 2: 42 –47 was pre-recorded. So too was the mid-morning talk by Fr Steve Ransome on ‘Practical steps for rebuilding the Church’ and the afternoon talk by Debera de Cranie Pierre, ‘How to behave in the family’. Virtual workshops followed both talks. The Point Fortin Music Ministry led the praise and worship that afternoon. Saturday ended with a healing service.
Interspersed during both day’s programmes were pre-recorded musical interludes and testimonies.
Sunday’s programme had a special theme, Revolution of the Holy Spirit. The day began with recitation of the rosary and Holy Hour. Sessions of prayer and intercession were led by members of the Tortuga Prayer Group, and others.
While the adults met on Sunday morning, Archbishop Gordon held an in-person forum with a few CCR youth at the Centre.
After Mass, certificates of appreciation were distributed to persons involved in the CCR’s pandemic relief effort.
The conference can be viewed HERE
By Raymond Syms