With today’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, our celebration of the Christmas Season comes to a close. I know we will all be sad to see all those beautiful poinsettias gone and our magnificent Nativity Scene taken down and stored away until next year. However, we have been truly blessed during this beautiful Christmas time as we recall the incarnation of God into our own humanity.
Today’s readings teach us that just as God was well pleased with his own beloved Son, God is well pleased to welcome us all into his family. Matthew’s version of Jesus’ baptism, which we hear today, makes an editorial change to Mark’s version of the story—it’s subtle but significant. Mark tells us that the voice from heaven says: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” However, Matthew’s account tells us that the voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” In Mark’s account, God’s voice and message are a private revelation between Jesus and God the Father. In Matthew’s account, God’s voice and message are a public revelation for all to bear witness. In other words, what we celebrate today in the Baptism of the Lord is another Epiphany—another manifestation of who Jesus really is. On the Feast of the Epiphany, Jesus is revealed as light for all nations. At the marriage feast at Cana, Jesus is revealed as divine in the miracle of changing water into wine. And today on this Feast of the Baptism, Jesus is revealed as the Messiah— the Anointed One—the One sent on the mission!
This event launched Jesus’ public ministry to do God’s will. As baptized Christians, we too were anointed with Sacred Chrism that helps us to be strong in our faith. We can remember this when it is hard to do what is right: we have been anointed by the Holy Spirit. This week our parish begins an offering of welcome to Catholics who have been away from the Church for various reasons. We call it: “Catholics Can Come Home Again.” If someone you know is feeling a call to return to the Church, please do not hesitate to invite them to come to these warm, friendly and welcoming sessions. Please see today’s bulletin for more details.
The annual Discernment Process for the selection of new members for the Parish Pastoral Council will take place this Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. The main project for the Council is designing a pastoral plan, oversee it and to empower parishioners to put it into practice. For more information, please see today’s bulletin. Have a great week! Love, Fr. Vince.