Tag Archives: The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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.

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Scripture Readings:     Isaiah 42: 1-4,6-7       Acts 10: 34-48       Matthew 3: 13-17

Last Weekend – I ended my Homily by saying:

Every weekend at the end of Mass, we are sent forth into the world to bring the light of Christ to the world and allow the light of Christ to illumine all we are, all we say, and all we do — Until next weekend when God gathers us together again.

And 7 days (167 Hours) later…we are back! Hopefully eager:

  • to hear what God has to share with us through the scriptures.
  • to be nourished by our God for the lives we live daily through the Eucharist.

On this Feast of The Baptism of the Lord, we are reminded that the Baptism of Jesus marked the beginning of his public ministry as he began to preach and teach and heal:

  • Speaking about the Kingdom of God and living what God his Father called him to do.
  • Bringing God’s peace and justice, God’s love and mercy to the people, to all, especially the sick, the marginalized, the oppressed, the forgotten.

Our Baptisms are about sharing in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Our Baptisms are about our growing in love of God and His people; and being Jesus’ disciples in the world of today.

Our Baptisms are about our being the Church of Jesus Christ in this time & place.

As soon to be Saint – Pope John the 23rd used to say at the end of his day: “It’s your church, Lord, I’m going to bed.

A few months ago, Richard Putorti, our 10:30 Sunday Morning Music Ensemble Director challenged all of us in these pews when he said:

“Don’t Go to Church….Be the Church.”

How are we doing?

How have we changed for the better in the past few months?

How have we allowed the Spirit of God to guide us in our lives as person and person of faith, in being Church.

You know it takes effort, it takes sacrifice at times, not only to go to church, but especially to BE Church.

  • Being Church calls us to be different at times, to live the Gospel, to love God and others is not only different at times, but challenging. (Yet God walks with us in our journey, I think we need to remember that at times… to become more conscious of that reality)
  • Being Church means having a place for God in our lives, not just at Sunday Mass, but daily in all we are and with all we interact with.
  • Being Church means making a place for everyone at the table, the table of life, the table of faith.
  • Being Church means working with others to make a difference: at home, at work, at school, in our communities, in our Parish.
  • Being Church means, at times, going places where we have never gone before in life and in ministry…
  • Being Church means we are part of a GROWING movement of GROWING disciples who are gathering more people, who are not disciples, to become disciples. (Boy that’s worth saying again…That’s worth writing in your Mass journal…as a matter of fact within the next several months we will begin to post my weekend homilies on our website…just in case you missed something)

How are we part of this growing movement?

Do we want to be part of a growing movement?

I heard this past week that an Evangelical Church in our area has added another service because they did not have enough room at their two Sunday Services. (And who are these new member? In most cases: Catholics)

  • Being Church means not getting in the way of the Holy Spirit, not getting in the way of God’s plan for “HIS CHURCH,” for “HIS PEOPLE,” for YOU — for US — for ALL.
  • Being Church is a work in progress for all of us:   God’s Beloved!

Who will again this weekend – be sent forth into the world to bring the light of Christ to the world and allow the light of Christ to illumine:   all we are, all we say and all we do — Until next weekend when God gathers us together again.