January 9, 2018
Psychologists tell us that if a child grows up hearing “You are stupid!” “You are good for nothing!” the child will believe that, especially when it comes from an adult of confidence. Today God the Father tells us who Jesus is, and who we are by our Baptism – “You are my son/daughter, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” God’s love is a free gift to us, something that many struggle with, complicated by feelings (rightfully or wrongly so) of unworthiness. Our Baptism is more than just a moment in time – captured in photos and video – but a life-long and intimate relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Our challenge is to live out that baptismal commitment each day, by lives that reflect that we are God’s children, loved, and that God is pleased with us. This is a tall task in our human condition. Four of the ways we express and live out this baptismal commitment is by 1) sharing our faith – as we grow and develop in our faith the natural ‘fruit’ is to share our faith and witness to Christ, 2) love – a love inspired by God’s love for us; unconditional, merciful and generous, 3) prayer – as individuals and part of a worshipping community, and 4) service – being good stewards of God’s blessings. These are the qualities of the early Christian Community, founded by Christ, and they should be real in our daily lives. May this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord renew and enliven our baptismal commitment to witness to the world that we are his children, his beloved, and that he is well pleased with us.