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Go And Be My Disciples

Homily 01 12 2014
Baptism of Jesus - A

Homily 01 12 2014
Baptism of Jesus - A

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So. We arrive at the Baptism of Christ. We leave behind angels and dreams, shepherds and wise men, stable and census, and with the Baptism of Christ we arrive at history in the life of Jesus. We can be sure, I suggest, of two things: that John the Baptist existed; and that Jesus came and was baptized by him.


The existence and mission of the Baptist is attested not just by the gospels, but also by the Jewish historian Josephus. And Jesus's baptism is recorded in the gospel according to Mark and that of Matthew; Luke briefly mentions it, and though John manages to get away without any explicit statement, he does relate the build-up and the aftermath.

In the accounts in Mark and Matthew, after his baptism Jesus sees the heavens open and the Spirit descend on him. In Luke the vision becomes an event seen by all; in the fourth gospel the Baptist himself has this vision as a witness to Jesus as Messiah.

The baptism we receive on the most important day of our life is the very event which makes faith in the most difficult teaching of the Church possible.

Listen to this statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "The fruit of baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ."

Lest we be tempted to treat baptism as a simple rite of passage, a chance to get the family together after a baby's birth and have a party, we would do well to reflect on the implications of this statement from the Catechism.

By baptism we are grafted onto Christ. We are enabled to participate in the very life and love of God. We receive sanctifying grace in our souls and, thus, become temples of the Holy Spirit. Since baptism is the sacrament that gives us spiritual life, it is known as the "gateway" to all the other sacraments.

And since baptism is necessary for salvation, it is by virtue of our baptism that we are admitted into heaven at our deaths.

Does more of a case really need to be made to convince us that the day we receive this grace is really the most important day of our lives?

Of all that baptism confers upon us, perhaps the most remarkable thing is that it makes us "adoptive sons and daughters of God." The only reason why we can pray the Lord's Prayer, addressing God on such familiar terms as "our father," is because of our baptism.

Through Christ's death and resurrection, we are made by adoption what Christ is by nature: daughters and sons of the heavenly Father. Elsewhere in the Gospels, we hear Jesus say that he is ascending to "my father and your father" (Jn 20:17), a statement that would have been impossible for anyone before Jesus to make. If we really reflect on what it means to be loved children of the creator of the universe, we can't help but be remain in awe.

This brings us to the end of today's Gospel account. We hear from Matthew that, after John baptized Jesus, the heavens opened up, and Jesus "saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'"

All that Jesus would do and accomplish after this beginning of his public ministry, in particular in his death and resurrection, would make it possible for these very same words to be spoken by God the Father about us. If we are baptized, then God truly looks at us saying, "This is my beloved son (or daughter), with whom I am well pleased."

They say that the longest journey is the journey from the head to the heart. This is especially true in the case our belief about our identity as adopted sons of the Father. While intellectually we may believe it, or say we believe it, for many of us there is still a ways to go before this belief makes its way from our heads to our hearts, to the core of our being.

As we pray today, this week, and in the future, we might consider repeatedly asking God for the particular grace to believe with every fiber of our being that we are loved by him as his sons and daughters.

Only when we, who call ourselves believers really believe this, will the rest of the world be able to believe it as well, and when people truly believe in the love of a God who is Father, life is never the same again.

In a story that I end with a man was traveling down the country one day. His journey brought him along some by-roads, where the signposts were few and far between. After a while, he was unsure if he was on the right road, so he decided to ask the first person he saw. Eventually he came across a farmer driving his cows home for milking.

He stopped the car, and asked him if he was on the right road to Buckley, just to give the place a name. The farmer told him that he certainly was on the right road. The man expressed his thanks, and was about to move forward when the farmer added, in a very nonchalant way, "You're on the right road, but you're going in the wrong direction!" Today's reflection on Jesus' baptism challenges us to examine whether we are on the right road and moving in the right direction for our eternal destiny.

We are work of Jesus. He further teaches us that we will not just be witnesses of His glory, but we are His glory.

Pope Francis would remind us, we must always present the face of Jesus to our world for our way of life will reveal Christ, especially to those who need Him the most. For with Christ we can transform our lives from darkness to light, we can recreate our world from sinful selfishness to a hope filled community. We pray that we all might be worthy of our baptismal names.

When you leave Church today and dip your hand into those miniature baptismal fonts we call holy water fonts, think of your dignity, your call and God's statement of your commission: "You are my Beloved in whom I am well pleased. Go and be my disciples." His love is beyond our understanding. His voice is the one we need to hear.


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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

Find Us

Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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