January 10, 2021
Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Mark 1:7-11
Do you remember your Baptism? If you do you are an unusual Catholic. The reality is that most people in any given Catholic Church congregation have no memory of their Baptism. It happened so early in many of our lives that we were not able to understand it, or even be aware that it was happening. But in this very fact we can see the wonder of God’s love and care for His people. God’s gift of Himself does not depend on our understanding, our maturity, or even our overt acceptance of it. It is a gift, pure and simple. And from the earliest moments of our lives we are privileged to share in His grace and be part of the Community of faithful believers. The danger, of course, is that, since this occurred so early in our lives, we might never think about our Baptism and its implications for us. But think of it: God continually offers Himself to us, and gives us the chance to respond to Him, grow in our love for Him, and accept His plan for us. Today’s Gospel shows us just how far God is willing to go to be part of our lives: Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Even though Jesus was without sin, He wished to intimately unite Himself with sinful humanity. His mission was to call sinners into the Kingdom. Thus, the Baptism of the Lord was an invitation for all people, saints and sinners, to come to Him. It can still have that meaning for us today. We all need Jesus. We all need His healing. On this great feast, we celebrate the fact that Jesus, divine Son of God that He is, is also “one of us”. This is the true “memory” of our Baptism: Jesus living in us and our response through a life of love. Perhaps something for all of us to reflect on this week might be: “How does my Baptism affect my everyday life?” Good question.