The Baptism of The Lord

January 7, 2021

Today, we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. With our celebration today we come to the “official” end of the Christmas season. Tomorrow we will begin a brief season of Ordinary Time. Our readings this Sunday remind us of the importance of our Baptism when through His great grace, our God claimed us as beloved sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of Christ through faith, and heirs of the Kingdom. The prophet Isaiah in today’s first reading tells us, “All who are thirsty, come to the water!” The waters of Baptism are not simply a spiritual cleansing of Original Sin, but so much more. In Baptism we begin a journey of faith discovering throughout every time and season of life the ways our good and generous God nourishes us and feeds us as a loving parent. And so the prophet exhorts us, “Seek the Lord while He may be found.” St. John the Evangelist in today’s second reading reminds us, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the One begotten by Him.” John then reminds us that as children of the Father we are to be like Him. We are to love God and love His family, our brothers and sisters. The Gospel for this Sunday is the scene of Jesus at the Jordan being baptized by His cousin, John the Baptist. As Jesus comes out of the water He beholds the heavens being torn open, the Spirit, like a dove descending upon Him. And then He hears the voice of Father saying, “You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.” While I doubt that our own baptism was as dramatic, I do believe that on the day each of us were baptized God said to us, “You are my beloved son/daughter.” On our journey of discipleship throughout life we strive to live as to please God. Sometimes we succeed and God smiles on us. Sometimes we fail and then we seek God’s mercy in the Sacrament of His love and forgiveness. The great St. Augustine said that this Sacrament is like a “second Baptism,” a fresh start to begin again to please the Father.

Thank you to all who were generous with their time this weekend in helping to take down the Christmas decorations. It sure comes down faster than setting up. I am happy that many joined in and helped us with this task. While it’s always sad to see our beautiful decorations come down, I think we can all agree, it was a beautiful Christmas 2020 at St. Luke’s. We look forward to it again next year. Thanks one and all.

Tomorrow, Monday, January the 11th, we return to Ordinary Time. For about six weeks we begin our annual time of growth in discipleship. Our readings will help us to walk with Jesus, listen to His teachings, witness His miracles and reflect on how He calls us to join Him. In these six weeks, may He deepen your commitment and strengthen you to follow Him wherever He calls you in 2021.

We now return to regular meetings of the Parish Council and other parish meetings. The Parish Council meetings are “open” meetings for any parishioner to attend. If you would like to bring an issue/item to the attention at the regular meeting we kindly ask that you contact one of the members. (Names are printed in each week’s bulletin and phone numbers are in the annual Parish Directory). The next Parish Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 26th at 7pm in St. Joseph’s Hall. The Council practices social distancing at all meetings.

Finally today, as we conclude another Christmas season here at St. Luke, I express my deep gratitude to all who had a hand in our celebration in any way; lectors, servers, ushers, choir, organist, decorators, and maintenance staff. It always takes a community to make it special and so many offered their gifts and talents to do so. Again, many thanks one and all.

God Bless! Make it a great week!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete