Baptism: Member of Christ
The earthly life of Jesus
Jesus spent the whole of his earthly life in Palestine, a country about the size of Wales tucked away in a corner of the vast Roman Empire. The result was that, during his lifetime of 33 years, he was unknown to the world outside Palestine. People there never came into touch with him, few had even heard of him. Life went on just the same and people went on just the same. This, of course, was because Jesus could not be in two places at once. If he was in Galilee, he could not be in Greece or Italy or Spain.
With us always
But all that was ended after his Resurrection and Ascension, for then Jesus went to Heaven. Heaven is where God is seen, and because God is not far away from us, so Heaven is not far away, whether we happen to be in England or Australia. That is why he was able to say to his Apostles on Ascension Day, “And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (Jerusalem Bible, Matthew 28:20). So far from being out of touch with people in distant places, he could now be, not only with them wherever they were, but actually within their very souls.
How? By means of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. For in Baptism Jesus himself, as well as the Holy Spirit, enters the souls of the baptised and becomes part of them. That is how he can change their characters into the likeness of his own and can continue to live his life and do his work, not now in Palestine alone, but in every part of the world where the baptised are.