Scripture Readings: Isaiah 40: 1-11; Timothy 2: 11-14; Luke 3: 15-22
Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. As we know, the Baptism of John was a Baptism of Repentance. And although Jesus had no need for repentance; Jesus joined with everyday people who were responding to the Grace of God.
For us the Sacrament of Baptism is a sharing in the life, death and most importantly the Resurrection of Jesus. Baptism, be it our Baptism or the Baptism of our children, is about a God who chooses to love us and care for us, again and again and again.
God’s love is beyond our imagining: “God’s love for us is not only the love of a creator for what has been created, but essentially the love of a father. Indeed, God’s love for us is even greater than that of a mother for her child.”
How do we respond to God’s great love?
Simply put — our response is seen in our lives…
As the late Bishop Fulton Sheen shared, “If you do not behave as you believe, you will end up believing as you behave.”
People should be able to look at what we do, listen to what we say and see how we live our lives, and immediately be able to discern to whom we belong! Jesus, the Christ!
Baptism is not a moment or a one and done Sacrament… Baptism is a call to a way of life.
Yesterday, I spoke with someone to whom I had given the Book, Rediscover Jesus (the same book, we will be distributing to everyone on the weekend of Feb. 6/7, 2016). The person shared, “I read a few pages of the book, and realized I had to begin to make a place for the Lord in my life.” They went on to share: “A friend of mine, who had some serious problems recently, has gone back to Church. I need to do the same.”
Who are we leading to this God of such great love, not just by what we say, but especially how we live?
God understands our struggles of life and faith… Our Baptism calls us daily to make the way of Christ… the way of love, mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, peace and joy and so much more that is of God… real to all we meet daily.
Baptism is calling us to BE Christ in the world of today, as person, family and parish. Growing in our witness of love of God, love of others, and in being faithful disciples to our children.
The late Father Raymond Brown, often stressed the importance of Baptism by insisting, “The day a person is Baptized is more important than the day a person is ordained a priest or bishop.”
May today’s Feast be a reminder to us that like Jesus, our Baptism is always about responding to the grace of God.
Being Baptized is not about what I did in the past; being Baptized is about who I am today.