John testified further saying, “I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’” (John 1)
At his baptism, Jesus was affirmed as the beloved Son of God, the Father, and was anointed with the Holy Spirit to begin his public ministry. Jesus taught us that we must be born again (baptized) to enter into eternal life. St. Paul teaches us that baptism is the means by which we become members of the church, which is the body of Christ. St. John taught us that through baptism, we, too, become the adopted, beloved children of God. Through baptism we are washed clean of original sin and we, too, receive the Holy Spirit, the sign of God’s life and love within us, and the pledge of eternal life.
The Catholic Church has always taught that baptism is necessary for salvation; the Church has also had the long-standing practice of baptizing not only adults, but also infants and children.