Sunday, January 13, 2013

Conversion is not a repairing of the old building; but it takes all down, and erects a new structure.

We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear-and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy. -  C.S Lewis

(Gospel text: LK 3:15-16, 21-22)
The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and 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.”

Jesus walked the earth at a time when modern communication and the news media simply did not exist.  A spiritual movement within the Jewish people was being stirred up by John the Baptist. It is John the Baptist who announces to the crowds: "Behold, the Lamb of God!" (John 1: 36) 

In today's culture, many people, even those who are baptized Christians, have great difficulty with their own identity.  Many people wonder what their purpose is in this life.  People find little or no meaning as they carry out their daily activities. A cloud of laziness hangs over many people as they also strive to find direction for their lives. 

This Sunday's liturgy shows us that Jesus gives us meaning, purpose and direction.   It is through the sacrament of baptism that we become his disciples.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and it is precisely in Jesus that our human existence finds fulfillment.

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If we truly “do”—truly believe—may we express such and demonstrate such with our daily living.

Do you believe in God the Father, Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church, we are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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