In this third part of the reflection on love from the First Letter of John, we see how our love for others reflects the love that flows from the heart of God. When we love one another we are acting on the Lord’s commandment and showing the world the face of Christ.
A few years ago I was having lunch when I ran into Fr. Bob Koszarek, a retired priest from our diocese. When I asked him what brought him out for lunch he said, “I am celebrating the anniversary of my baptism.” The comment struck me, especially when he followed it up with, “Do you know the day of your baptism?”
The answer is no. Yet as I prepare for Mass this week I have made a commitment to find out. We claim (rightly so) that baptism is a crucial sacrament in the Church – the gateway to all other sacraments whereby we are configured to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Most people know if they have been baptized; my sense is that very few know the actual date.
Our faith is a precious gift – worth fighting for, worth dying for. Perhaps today we pause to recall just how precious it truly is…Jesus Christ poured out his blood on the Cross for us that we might have eternal life. His baptism was the revelation of the Trinity, where we hear the Father’s voice from heaven as the Spirit descends upon the Son in the form of a dove. Our baptism allows us to participate fully in God’s presence for the grace and guidance we need.
I invite us today to claim our baptism. Some simple steps:
Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know Jesus and live as a Christian disciple
Embrace your faith through study and prayer
Serve others in the name of Jesus Christ (and with his help and strength)
Allow your life to bring Good News to the World
Our baptism is not a one time event. Rather, it is an ongoing expression of Christ working through us. May the Baptism of the Lord inspire us to live our faith with joy as we engage our lives with his power.
The Magi followed the light of the star to encounter the Light of the World as they responded with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. As we are drawn to the Light of Christ and encounter His grace, may we shine with His light for all to see!
“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Mary inspires us to follow her example as we reflect on all that has happened in the last year and study these insights in the light of our faith in Christ as we embark on the New Year. Holy Mary, Mother of God…pray for us!
The Gospel reveals that growth and knowledge often take time to develop. This process of maturity reminds us that our own spiritual life requires a steady discipline of commitment over the entire course of our lives.