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In this Sunday's Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent, John the Baptist teaches us that our baptism is a baptism or an immersion in the Holy Spirit. But what does mean?

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an action of God, invited by an individual through prayer, which brings about a deeper conversion to Christ, and which gives the Holy Spirit permission to work in that individual’s life in a more powerful way.

This powerful action of the Holy Spirit is often accompanied by the ‘charisms’ or ‘gifts’ of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of St Paul.

The Baptism in the Spirit is not a Sacrament, but it does revitalize and stir up the graces received in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. The Baptism in the Spirit doesn’t only re-ignite the graces already given to Christians through the Sacraments – it’s also a new, fresh experience of the Holy Spirit which equips and inspires the individual for service, for mission, for discipleship and for life.

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