In Luke 7, a woman anoints Jesus’ feet in an act of love, and Jesus consequently forgives her sin. In Luke 7:50, Christ says “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” If faith was only the beginning of her initial justification, culminating in Baptism, why did Jesus not command her to be baptized? It seems that he has neglected the fact that the sacrament of baptism is necessary for baptism, as the Catholic Church teaches. How should we interpret this?
The essence of a sacrament is to receive grace. Just as the Apostles received confirmation through fire and not chrism, Christ could have chosen an alternate means of imparting the grace of baptism to individuals.
The sacraments are not magic formulas, they are the outwards signs established by Christ through which **He **acts. Someone who encountered Christ wouldn’t have need of a sacramental sign because Christ would be literally acting in their presence.