Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Israel was called not just to save herself but to be a light to all the nations as Isaiah says. The same is true for us. We are called not just for our own salvation but for the salvation of the world. Each one of us has a particular role to play and God has shaped, formed and molded in our mother’s womb for that purpose. It was a calling not to strike back, to be a bruised reed, one who turns the other cheek. This is the vocation of a Christian.
Anything that shows someone a way to God is a LIGHT, a way to happiness. Hopefully in the events of these days of Christmas and my mom’s passing from this world you given you a sense of God acting or helping you in your life. Brothers and sisters, we must carry out the work of the one who sent us, St. John tells us. The night is coming soon; there is no time to waste.
In the gospel (Mt. 3: 13-17) Jesus gives us a sign of repentance. He shows us how it is done. He acts it out, by submitting to John, and entering the waters of the Jordan to be baptized. He comes down to our level, and prefers the nakedness and chill of the muddy waters.
Sin is always grounded in our illusions of greatness. Repentance is grounded in my worth in the eyes of God. I don’t have the right to refuse the many gifts he wants to give me. The Spirit comes to us as a result of turning more to God. Sometimes we can be like that verse of a poem that says: “I die of thirst at the fountains edge.” God is always ready to give us abundant water no matter what we have done.
John is having trouble when Jesus asks him for baptism. Jesus says very simply, “Allow it for now.” You will understand it later, or come let us do this one together! He says the same to us. Often we are afraid to enter the water of Baptism, afraid to enter the difficulties, the cross. Jesus encourages us: let us do this together, take it one day at a time. Do not worry, I am with you. The water is not too cold, take a step into it.
What joy the Father had in his heart to see how the Son was fulfilling his mission and his love for all of creation. How happy my mom must have been yesterday to see the beautiful Mass of Resurrection for her yesterday; full of joy and celebration, and some tears. The Father is well pleased with his Son or another way to say it is: I find my delight in dwelling in him. Can we say the same thing, brothers? Do we find our true peace, our true happiness in staying with him, in being close to Christ? He is the one I need to seek. He is the only one that matters.
The Kings went home a different way, we heard last week. They went home as different people. When we have an encounter with Christ we change; we are different people. It is not possible to stay the same. Don’t be afraid to open your hearts to him during this time, and make some time to speak to him, and to ask his help to know him better.
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