Holy Cross Catholic Church
The Pastor' Note
Baptism of the Lord

First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Second Reading: Acts 10:34-38
Gospel: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Our Baptismal Call

Last weekend, I asked a couple with an un-baptized son what their baptism means. No one had ever asked them that, so they didn't know what to say. Maybe most of us haven't been asked about the meaning of our baptism. I told the couple that it had dawned on some time ago that the graces of baptism still come to me, so that baptism is not the same as a certificate or a date, but as an ongoing sacrament. It's like Jesus heard at his baptism, "This is my beloved son." I imagine that kept ringing in his ears.

Over the past decades, our baptismal call has taken on a new significance, in the sense that all Christians have a calling or vocation to live out, not just those who are married, ordained or profess religious vows. By virtue of our baptism, we are all called to willingly follow Christ wherever he leads us, to respond to his love for us by the ways we love God and each other.

What does our baptism mean? It means that we are being graced now, and loved now, and guided now, and strengthened today - not just on that date that shows up on a certificate. It means that God is now calling us by name, and is glad when we respond.

Fr. Greg

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