Tag Archives: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

The Baptism of the Lord

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for The Baptism of the Lord: CLICK HERE!

I’m glad you called.
It is really Kind of You.
You’re one of the few people I know who understand what I’m going through.
I think I get it now.
I have to keep my eye on the ball from the moment the pitcher throws it, and then swing.  Let me try it again.  Throw it Dad!
Yeah, Mom, I know I’ve been acting like a jerk.  It’s just… Can we talk about it…?
We’re so glad you could make it. You know, everyone asks about you when you’re not here. You’ve become very important to them
You know, you raised a Good Kid…
Your gift is going to make a big difference…
You ready should not have, but I am so happy that you did…
Mom, Dad… Meet your new grandchild!
Thank You
God bless you for your kindness

We hear the words… But we often miss that it is God speaking the words.  Throughout our lives, we can hear the voice of God affirming:

  • our offerings of understanding and kindness…
  • our efforts to heal and reconcile…
  • our sacrifices for those we love…

In those voices of gratitude, God speaks his word of love and care for us…

As God expresses his pleasure in his “Beloved Son” at Jesus’ Baptism in today’s Gospel… God speaks his same joy and love in our simple and ordinary attempts to imitate Jesus’ love, compassion, understanding, justice, forgiveness and so much more.

May the Holy Spirit we received at our own Baptisms continue to move us to do the work of Jesus’ Gospel, to “tear open the heavens” and give voice to the love of God in our homes, and schools, and communities and churches.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord: CLICK HERE! 

For the coming months, Our Parish in a variety of ways will be asking each of us to give some time… some attention to the Prayer of Prayers we call the Mass.

To begin this effort, all registered Parishioners received 2 Catholic Updates:

  • A Walk thru the Mass:  Why We Do What We Do
  • Participating Fully at Sunday Mass

As we know the Mass is comprised of two main parts: the Liturgy (Work of the People) of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

The Liturgy of the Word is the Scriptures that we hear every weekend.  Usually an Old Testament reading, sometimes referred to as the Hebrew scriptures, and then a New Testament reading followed by a Gospel Reading.

We believe that the Scriptures were divinely inspired.  We believe that through these readings God speaks not only to the past, but to us the people of the present.

In a sense, we should be eagerly anticipating what God will be saying to us, to me, this weekend as we gather for Mass.

This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord… a good day to recall our own Baptisms – a very important day in our life.  That day when our parents brought us to church, not just to check off another thing done:

  • Baby born – check
  • Baby fed – check
  • Baby washed – check
  • Baby dressed – check
  • Baby baptized – check
  • Baptism party – check

No, our parents wanted to pass on to us and through us to our children/our families, the gift of faith, the gift for our life here on earth and for eternal life.

Two years ago on this Feast, Pope Francis stressed the importance of both knowing and celebrating the day of our Baptism!  Who among us remembers the day of our Baptism?  (Anyone here today at Mass ???)  If you know, great!  If we do not, you got homework!

Pope Francis would remind us that our Baptism dates are as important as our birth dates!  (Beloved sons and daughters of God)

On this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I would call our attention to the Gospel, and the phrase, “a voice came from Heaven: You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”

And at our own Baptisms, God says the same to us: “You are my beloved son/daughter, with you I am well pleased.”

Oh, yes, two years ago Pope Francis shared the “stupendous reality” of being children of God brings with it the responsibility to follow Jesus… To grow and grow and grow… In love of God, others, and to be Faithful Disciples of Jesus…”  To be the face of Jesus!

At our Baptisms:

  • We are anointed with holy oil (Chrism)
  • We are garbed (dressed) in white
  • We are given a lighted candle to keep the flame of faith burning brightly in our hearts.

Today’s Gospel reminds us that today is a good day to “check our baptismal candles and make sure they are still burning brightly…”

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Scripture Readings:      Isaiah 55:1-11;    1 John 5:1-9;     Mark 1:7-11

Today’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord brings us to the end of the Christmas Season.    (And you thought it was over 17 days ago)

The Baptism of Jesus marked the beginning of the public life of Jesus.  As we reflect upon the Baptism of Jesus, we are invited today to reflect on our own Baptisms.    The reminder that we belong to Christ, we are part of the Body of Christ – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

By Baptism we share in the Life, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus.     Which reminds me of an adult who was to be Baptized by immersion.    As he stood thigh-deep in the Baptismal Pool, the pastor leaned close to him and whispered:   “Robert, when I baptize you, everything that goes under the water belongs to God.  Are you ready?”    Robert nodded and reached inside his baptismal robe, grabbing his wallet.  At each of the three plunges into the water he resolutely held his wallet high and dry above the water.

It may be a funny story, but when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, Jesus held nothing back.  Our Baptisms call us to “hold nothing back” from our Baptismal call to love God, to love others and to be faithful disciples.

Today’s Isaiah reading is a reminder that the Lord invites all people, each of us to:    come, drink, eat, listen, seek the Lord, turn to the Lord for mercy, forsake evil, and turn to God, who is generous in forgiving.

Like Jesus, we are God’s beloved sons and daughters.  But this is meant to be more than a title.  Like Jesus, our lives are meant to witness each day to our Baptism, our faith, our God.  We cannot say things like, “Sunday is for God, but the rest of the week is for business, politics, or pleasure.”  We need to integrate what we profess to believe with what we do every day.  How is our love of God, of others, our being disciples of the Lord, clearly evident for all to see?

Finally, Baptism is both – about each of us and about all of us.   We live our faith not only as a person, but we also live our faith together.  Together we are called to take up the responsibility for the work of the Gospel in 2015 for our community and for each other.     There is no “them” among us the Baptized, only “us” and “we.”

May those we Baptize today and tomorrow “hold nothing back” in living their Baptismal faith, in living their love of God and others, in living lives that witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

May those we Baptize today and tomorrow do so – because parents, family, friends, and the Church community (all people of faith) do more than talk about Baptism or being Catholic, but live their Baptismal faith daily and “hold nothing back.”