I have been getting thank you letters from the various organizations that were “gifted” on gift Sunday. They are grateful for our generosity in sharing with those in need. Thank you for “making Christmas” for others.
On Christmas day we found a wedding ring (looks like a man’s) with an inscription. It can be
claimed in the parish office.
Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. In one sense, it is an announcement of the Trinity: the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, the Father spoke, and Jesus was identified as the Son. It is also the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus fought against the ingrained concept that the Messiah would be a military warrior who would reign through power and force, though there were prophets, like Isaiah whom we heard today, who indicated otherwise: he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street… Instead, He comes as …a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. The Kingdom is about helping those in need; it is not about power and force.
Through our baptism, we have been incorporated into the ministry of Jesus, the ministry of bringing about the Kingdom of peace, equality, and justice. We do this by living Gospel values in our lives: being compassionate, forgiving, patient, etc., etc., all the things that are opposite of violence and hatred. At the end of it all, this is what is important.
Let us strive this year to be beacons of Light in a culture that is increasingly hostile and confrontational, bringing Christ’s gentle compassion and love into a world that needs it so much. And let us support each other’s efforts with prayer.
May you have a happy, holy, and healthy 2019.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS