In celebrating the Baptism of the Lord ( January 13 this year), we conclude the Christmas Season and the Church recalls that Jesus did not need to be baptized, but allowed for it, changing Saint John the Baptist’s baptism of repentance, preparing us for the Sacrament of Baptism: with water in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus sanctifies the waters for our sake; He who is God and man comes to begin a new creation through the Holy Spirit and water. In the Church’s rite of baptism, God wipes away Original Sin, gives us grace, infuses our soul with the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love, and incorporates us into His Mystical Body, the Church, making us His children as the Holy Trinity takes up residence in our soul. In baptism, we die and rise with Jesus Christ, Who has saved us by His Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven. Thanks be to God for His gift of life and the Sacrament of Baptism!
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has stated: “Whoever is moved by love begins to perceive what ‘life’ really is. He begins to perceive the meaning of the word of hope that we encountered in the Baptismal Rite: from faith I await ‘eternal life’ – the true life, which, whole and unthreatened, in all its fullness, is simply life. Jesus, who said that He had come so that we might have life and have it in its fullness, in abundance ( John 10:10), has also explained to us what ‘life’ means: ‘this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent’ ( John 17:3). Life in its true sense is not something we have exclusively in or from ourselves: it is a relationship. And life in its totality is a relationship with Him who is the source of life. If we are in relation with Him who does not die, who is Life itself and Love itself, then we are in life. Then we ‘live’” (Spe Salvi, Saved in Hope #27).
In His love for us, God has made every human person in His image and He wants us to live in His love, for He is Love itself. Yet, Pope Emeritus Benedict says, “are we not in this way falling back once again into an individualistic understanding of salvation, into hope for myself alone, which is not true hope since it forgets and overlooks others? Indeed we are not! Our relationship with God is established through communion with Jesus – we cannot achieve it alone or from our own resources alone. The relationship with Jesus, however, is a relationship with the One who gave Himself as a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6). Being in communion with Jesus Christ draws us into His ‘being for all’… (Spe Salvi #28). In our love for God and for all His children, born and pre-born, may we prayerfully support the annual March for Life (January 18, 2019, in Washington, DC; and January 22, 2019, in Madison, WI), praying for the safety of all marchers and for greater respect for God’s gift of life.
With peace and prayers in Christ,