A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD – CYCLE “C” – 1/13/19 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
We’ve all been to many Baptisms before. We are a young Parish, with lots of kids, and it seems like most weekends, someone’s baby is getting Baptized after Mass on Saturday evening, or on Sunday morning after the 10 AM Mass. In addition, one of our favorite nights of the entire year, is the Easter Vigil. And the part of the Easter Vigil that we all look forward to, are the Baptisms. Every Holy Saturday, it feels like the Mass just stops, and we all turn around, back towards the Baptismal font, to see our new brothers and sisters get soaking wet, as their sins are washed away! Who will float? Who will sink? Who will get dunked? And who is it that just wants the water poured over their head? Plus, then there’s the reception! Is there any better cake than Baptism cake? I like wedding cake, and birthday cake, but there’s just something very special about Baptism cake! Usually white cake, with white icing, it tastes so new and fresh. It makes you think of a newborn, newly Baptized baby!
We don’t know if they had cake at Jesus’ Baptism two-thousand years ago, or not. One things is for sure, they didn’t have Costco and Costco cakes. But that wasn’t the only thing different about Jesus’ Baptism. There was Jesus, God made Man, who certainly did not need a ritual washing, submitting to a Baptism by His cousin, John. And this Baptism was unlike all the others that John would have performed that day. In this Baptism, Jesus accepts and begins His mission. He goes to work, doing the job that His Father had sent Him to this world to do.
And the uniqueness of His Baptism stands out! It sounds like a Steven Spielberg movie! The Holy Spirit descends like a dove. The waters of the Jordan River are made holy by the One getting Baptized and by the Holy Spirit. The Heavens, once closed off by Adam’s sin, are now opened up, and then there’s that voice, that loud voice from Heaven, that says, “You are my Beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Clearly, this is NOT your typical Baptism! Something very special is happening here! Something very special is just beginning! Jesus is going to begin His public ministry. He is going to work.
As we celebrate this Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and as we come to the end of our Christmas season, maybe that’s the same challenge that all of us face today. We like Jesus have also been Baptized, and now it is time for all of us to go to work, building God’ Kingdom, cooperating with the Holy Spirit, and bringing God’s love and care to others in our world today! The poinsettias are all going away. The Christmas trees are going to come down. The Nativity set will be packed away until next year. But the living out our Baptisms, the commitments that each of us have to keep following and serving Jesus, that’s was remains, that’s what goes on, as we enter Ordinary Time. There’s a lot of work to do! And our God needs us! By our Baptisms, may we live out our Faith, and Build His Kingdom, and give witness to who we are as children of God, and what God expects of us! And by recognizing this special gift and blessing, we are given a glimpse of what Heaven must be like.
Today, let us not just reflect on the Baptism of the Lord, but let us also reflect on our own Baptism. Let us recall with great awe and wonder, what happened to us when we were Baptized: the cleansing water, the presence of the Trinity, the rejoicing in Heaven, and the strength, and grace, and blessing that still abides with us every day! Most importantly, may we never forget the great responsibility that comes along with that Baptism. We belong to Him! It is truly time for all of us, to get to work. Now is our time, to live out our Baptisms! God has given us what we need to overcome the evil in this world.
As we celebrate the Eucharist on this Feast Day today, let us be so energized by Christ’s Body and Blood, so as to go forth and fulfill that Baptismal mission. Today, God is counting on each of us. May we not let Him down. And may our Baptisms be about a lot more than just cake!
+ May God bless us and help us to live our Faith, / Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!