FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD – “YOU ARE MY BELOVED …”
Rising up out of the waters of the Jordan River when John baptized him, Jesus heard from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” God has basically proclaimed these words over everyone who has been baptized. At our own baptism or that of a grandchild, God delights in calling us an adopted member of his family, along with his Son, Jesus. Coming to a deeper meaning of the Sacrament of Baptism is the fundamental task of Christian life. When we witness a baptism we have an opportunity to savor the spiritual realities that are happening during the ritual, which is full of signs and symbols and gestures full of deep spiritual meaning.
Let’s review what I consider are a good summary of the main spiritual realities that the Sacrament of Baptism effects within the person being baptized:
- The person is filled with God’s life of grace, a magnificent gift. This is really the indwelling of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Spirit.
- The baptized person is adopted into God’s family. As an adopted daughter or son of the Father, we also become brothers and sisters to Jesus, our wonderful “big brother”, and heirs to the kingdom of God.
- The person is initiated into the Church, the People of God here on earth – a member of the parish, a member of the diocese, and finally a member of the whole Catholic Church.
- The baptized is drawn into the saving death and resurrection of Jesus – saved from our sins and given the potential of eternal life. In baptism we die with Christ, and we rise with him to new life.
- Finally, original sin is removed. That is, the punishment of eternal death due to all born into the human family is taken away and plenty of graces are then bestowed on us to follow the Lord faithfully throughout our life.
Now you can you see why God is excited about a person getting baptized and saying to them, “You are my beloved …”
TIME TO RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO THE ST. LOUIS REVIEW
You will find in your monthly contribution packet an envelope for you to pay for your annual subscription to our Catholic weekly newspaper for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The suggested amount for a year is $35. As your pastor I want every active Catholic in the parish to receive this excellent source of news about Catholic activities in the Archdiocese and also throughout the Church. Your subscription offering covers the weekly delivery and the unlimited digital access of the Review, so that you can stay in contact with the Church in St. Louis. [Note: if you are unable to cover this cost, the parish will pay it for you.] Please return your subscription envelope this month.
THANK YOU AGAIN for those who helped with the Christmas decorations in church and outside, especially Jeannie Kohnen for taking charge of inside the church and Terry Richter for taking charge of the outside decorations, including the lovely crib scene. And thanks to Sister Kathy for keeping all the poinsettias watered.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS – IT’S NOT TOO LATE …
One week into this New Year of 2021, it is not too late to include a spiritual resolution to the perennial one of eating less. You could consider: reading a chapter a day in one of the gospels, praying the rosary while really meditating on the various mysteries of the rosary, or consciously doing an extra act of love for someone each day this year.