One common misconception about the Catholic Church is that the sacraments are just invented by the Church. Where do the sacraments come from? Well, in fact, they come from the life of Jesus. You see, God knows that we communicate in words and actions and that we’re physical.
We have physical bodies. And so he uses physical things to communicate his grace to us. And all of the sacraments have been instituted by Jesus Christ himself, and are attached to his life. The sacraments are ways that we encounter Jesus Christ and they’re ways that we can participate in the life of Jesus Christ. See, Jesus is using ordinary things, water, oil, bread, wine, the laying on of hands at ordination… Jesus is using these things to communicate his grace and his life to us. So I really want you to think about this way. The Church didn’t invent these sacraments. Jesus instituted these sacraments because he wants to come in contact with you because he wants to share his life with you. So baptism is rooted in the baptism of Jesus. Jesus didn’t need baptism, but he allowed himself to be baptized as an example for us.
So in the Catechism, it says in paragraph 1115, “Jesus’ words and actions during his hidden life and public life were already salvific, for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery. They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished. The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what he would hence forth dispense in the sacraments through the ministers of his Church, ‘for what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries.'” So how do we participate more in the life of Christ? Well, the mystery of Christ’s life are foundations for the sacraments through these physical signs that actually do what they signify. And what’s crazy is that God had this plan from the beginning, God from the beginning planned to give us the sacraments, to allow us to participate in his divine life and to allow us to participate in the life of Jesus through the sacrament. Jesus is the one who established the power of the sacraments in his lifetime. And through the sacraments, we are able to participate in the life of Christ.