What Happened at Our Baptism?
The feast of the baptism of Jesus brings to the conclusion the Christmas season. Here is yet another epiphany of God’s prescient irruption into our human existence. In the words of Prophet Isaiah, the Israelites were expecting the coming of the saving, suffering servant of God whom He addressed as “my chosen one with whom I am well pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit.” (42:1-2). At Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, God bursts forth into our life like the roar of rushing water (cf. Ez. 43:2, Rev. 14:2), and by so doing, he adopts all of us as His children through Jesus. In and from Jesus’ baptism we have all received our baptism and like Jesus, we are anointed “with the Holy Spirit and power” (Acts 10:38). Like Jesus, our baptism is a manifestation of God’s love and His choice of us as his children. Our baptism is God’s claim over us and because he is pleased with our new identity, he empowers us to do good and bring healing to those in our world. Are we doing so? Do we have the capacity to do so?
Yes, we have been empowered in the Holy Spirit through the water of baptism and the anointing with sacred oil, we just don’t always remember this or realize this state of our soul. We are God’s people, we are brothers and sisters of Jesus, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us respond to the grace that has been given to us through the Sacrament of baptism. What is left for us to do is to put into action the grace given to us to live as God’s children in name and truth.
In various ways, we have manifested the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives through many acts of love and service to God and his church. We are thankful to God for that. As we conclude the Christmas season today, I once again offer my thanks to all of you who over Christmas have been generous to our parish family and me personally. This is a mark of the indwelling Spirit of love in your lives, and I pray that you keep the flame of that love alive throughout this year and always. God is pleased with you, remain in God’s love. Keep your Christian identity alive through constant acts of selfless love, healing, and justice. Pray without ceasing through the Holy Spirit given to you by God.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Bernard, OP