This parish was founded by the Society of the Divine Savior and Salvatorians have ministered here over its 70-year history. This coming weekend, we will have our annual “Salvatorian Sunday” collection, in which the Society asks for your financial support, especially for our formation program, which is preparing future ministers for this parish and other ministries. Envelopes will be handed out that can be dropped in the collection box or returned to the parish office over the coming weeks. Donations can also be made online (watch for the link in next week’s bulletin). I thank you in advance for your support of my community.
Two weeks ago, we celebrated Christmas. Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of Jesus, which ends the Christmas season and is the first of 34 Sundays of Ordinary time (“Ordinary” means “ordered” or “numbered,” that is, from 1 to 34). It is good to celebrate Christ’s first coming on Christmas and to anticipate His final coming on the last Sunday of Ordinary time, the feast of Christ the King, but the majority of our time is spent in the middle, learning how to bring Christ into the world now, today, wherever we live. The Church doesn’t want us to stay stuck in the past or be thinking of the future: the Church wants us to be active disciples in our world today.
Jesus was 30 years old when He was baptized. He had been living a quiet life in Nazareth as a carpenter, but His life changed when He was baptized by His cousin John in the Jordan River and He heard a voice that said, “You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” This was the beginning of His ministry of bringing the “Good News” to the world around Him.
When we were baptized, God also said to us, “you are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” He has called us by name (the baptismal rite begins with the naming of the one being baptized) and asks us to bring His love and compassion to a world so much in need of it.
How should we do this? We can learn by looking at Jesus. When He was baptized by John, He felt a call to go forth and preach. As His popularity grew, He wasn’t sure what to do. The people were expecting a political or military messiah who would make Israel #1 again. Jesus wasn’t comfortable with that. That is why He often told people He had cured to be quiet about what had happened: He didn’t want more attention. Jesus would run up the mountain to be alone. He was struggling to find His way.
What did He do on the mountain? He spent time praying, listening to His Father, and gradually He found His way. The last time Jesus did this was in the garden of Gethsemane, where He asked His Father to take the coming passion away, but then accepted His Father’s will.
To summarize: we want to do God’s will but how do we know what it is? Jesus tells us how: go off by yourself, be quiet, pray, listen, and the Lord will lead you to His will. Let’s make sure we are doing this. God bless.
Church sign of the week: When God measures a person, He puts the tape around the heart.