The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord causes us to reflect on the meaning of Baptism in our daily life: at home, at work, at school, in social situations, and the like. To truly live the fundamental meaning of Baptism is rather difficult, but we have grace.
In the parish church the priest blesses water does the sprinkling rite to remind us of our Baptism.
Saint Proclus of Constantinople writes this about the meaning of Baptism of the Lord:
“Christ appeared to the world, and putting order into the disordered world he made it resplendent. He took upon himself the sin of the world and cast down the enemy of the world. He sanctified the founts of water, and enlightened the souls of human beings… Come, see the strange and new flood, greater and more excellent than that in the days of Noah. There the water of the flood destroyed the human race, but here the water of the baptism, by the power of him who is baptized in it, has called back the dead to life. There the dove carrying the olive branch in its beak denotes the fragrance of the sweet-smelling savor of the Lord Christ, but here the Holy Spirit coming in the form of a dove reveals to us our merciful God.”
In the words of the Acts of the Apostles in the second reading reading at the Novus Ordo Mass we hear, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.” God’s power and spirit belongs to all people who live according to God’s designs: the fear of God and acting uprightly (righteousness). This is what Jesus taught His Apostles. Do we follow the leader?
The baptized Catholic is a person whose heart belongs to the Lord in all things, no excuses, no trying to justify certain actions to ease the tension. To say we are Christian means that there is an obligation to follow the Leader and to lead the rest of the world into the kingdom of God promised to us. Do people know that we are Catholic Christians? Can people point at us and say, “There’s a Christian at work…at home…in the car…at the store…in the parking lot…in the dining room… with the parents…with the children?”
If you receive Holy Communion, and hence you enter in communion with the totality of Divine Revelation and the teaching of the Church, and you are in communion your brother and sister, then you can you are in communion with the Lord. At least that’s the hope. It is true, however, it is time to act uprightly so that God may be well pleased!
The Christmas season ends today. The beautiful decorations that give light and hope have run their course for now. The Christmas crib is a beautiful scene. It is the hope of Mother Church that the feast of the Baptism of the Lord would challenge us to live out the full meaning of Christmas more confidently. Otherwise, the cute little baby Jesus statues will be packed away with no impact in life. Hope this is not the case.