“Thus by baptism all are plunged into the paschal mystery of Christ: they die with him, are buried with him, and rise with him…in like manner, as often as they eat the supper of the Lord they proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” (6)
The Council Fathers, in the interest of relating the liturgy – especially Mass – to the other sacraments, state right up front that Baptism and Eucharist are intimately related. It is the community of the baptized who comprise the Church. And, baptized as “priest, prophet, and king” like Jesus, the Eucharist is our community meal. Because of our baptism, we can offer the sacrifice of our lives - right along with bread and wine - as we sacramentally participate in the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Baptism is our common identity. St. Paul reminds us that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. Just as a family is bound together by “blood”, it is “water” that binds the Church together. Through our baptism, the Council notes, we are made adopted children of God the Father, Abba. (Romans 8:15) We recall our baptism each time we prepare for Mass by blessing ourselves with holy water upon our entry into the church. On some Sundays (especially during Eastertide), we are sprinkled with baptismal water in remembrance of the importance of baptism.
And each time we gather to eat the Lord’s Supper we proclaim the death of the Lord as we wait for his coming again. The Eucharist is the pre-eminent celebration of the Paschal Mystery. In the Eucharist - especially the Sunday Mass – we not only remember the death and resurrection of Christ, but participate in it sacramentally. We are mystically transported to the foot of the cross, and share in the dying and rising of Jesus. Our baptism not only incorporates us into this Paschal Mystery, but also gives us hope for his return in glory!