1-13-2019 Weekly Reflection

The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.

The people regarded John as a prophet, who boldly preached about repentance and challenged them to prove with their actions that their hearts changed. Many came to be baptized. They hoped that John would be the leader to overthrow the Romans and restore glory to Israel. Instead John was telling the people that he must decrease and Jesus must increase…I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.

Jesus allows John to baptize Him, so that he could fully share in our human condition. Jesus, who had no sin, takes on all the sins of humanity, nails them to the cross – freeing us from the grip of sin and death. We see that both the God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are also present. ..the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”

We know that our Baptism, the Holy Trinity was present as well. Perhaps we consider our Baptism, a one- time event that happened many years ago. On the contrary, our Baptism is like a renewable source of energy. The bond forged with the Holy Spirit at our Baptism, continues to be forged each day of our lives. Each day God invites us to die to sin. Each day we are called to respond to His amazing grace.

“The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1131). This definition tells us who the sacraments came from and why Christ gives them to us. Baptism, Communion and Confirmation form the foundation for our Christian life.

Just as Jesus’s life of service began at His baptism in the Jordan River, so too our life of service began at our Baptism. We encounter “God with us” by serving those with any form of need.

God bless us all always!

Deacon Mike