The Baptism of the Lord

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

We come to the end of our Christmas Season celebrations. We heard in the Gospel this weekend that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River as an initiation of His public ministry. Saint Mark emphasizes the baptism of Jesus as a trajectory to His mission while Saint John makes an affirmation of Jesus’ identity as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” The Paschal Mystery was foreshadowed, and the fullness of the revelation of God’s love was unfolded at Calvary. God’s story of love goes on as we continue our journey each day also.

It was at the baptism of Jesus that the Triune God revealed His initial work in the Economy of Salvation. The pouring of water on Jesus was a great imagery of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the human flesh that Jesus assumed as His nature to divinize the sinful humanity that required the fullness of God’s redemption. Our participation in the life of God began when the doors of heaven opened for us so that the Heavenly Father might claim us as His sons and daughters through baptism. Whenever we take our baptismal commitment seriously, it is then that our participation in the life of the Church will have a deeper meaning also. Our stewardship of time, talent and treasure will be more significant if we believe that our role as baptized Christians is to be God’s collaborators in building His Kingdom. Our communal worship as well as public devotions will have a deeper expression if we are always mindful that our baptism is our participation in the Paschal Mystery at Calvary.

The many symbols that we have in the church during our communal prayers will not remain simply as ordinary symbols during worship if we consciously make an affirmation that Christ claimed us for God and granted us our divine identity by participation in the life of grace. Spiritual consciousness is a great tool towards a better recognition of God’s involvement in our daily affairs. We become certain of our decisions because faith sustains us and provides for us an invisible vision that brings confidence in God. We learn how to transcend our human struggles by being hopeful. Also, a deep spiritual consciousness ushers us to a much better of expression of charity that leads us to an authentic joy and freedom. Yes, the baptism of Jesus is a call for us to a renewal of our vision. It is a challenge for us to re-configure our priorities and to examine our relationship with God and our neighbor. Finally, the baptism of Jesus is an invitation to all of us who call ourselves Christians to truly align our lives to His teachings as well as to accept the challenges of conversion.

As the mystery of the Incarnation was unfolded through the birth of the Infant in the manger, let us hope that the same mystery may reveal to us the fullness of our identity through the baptism that we received in Christ when we were re-created in water and the Holy Spirit.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,