Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.”
Today marks the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, where Christ began his Public Ministry. Even though he knew he was God and Man, Jesus still went with the formalities, because he was also human.
” Then he permitted Him. 16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
This verse is always special to me – At a point of my life where I had slipped into Gnostic thought (some would argue that I still do.. my more traditional friends), I decided to attend mass at St Louis Cathedral Basilica. As I was walking up to communion, to recieve our Lord, I looked up to the left panel and saw this
I about fell to my knees – THIS is who God is pleased in. THIS Is who we should listen to – Not alternative thought and certainly not to so called lost far away churches. I knew at that point I was being spoken to quite sternly as a Father does to a son. I was in error. I was wrong. Jesus is found only in the church. Not in some past, forbidden, forgotten group.. and not in the lies and deceit of new age thought. This was my “Coming to Jesus” moment, literally in my life.
Do I get it right? No. Right now I probably struggle more then most. I struggle more because I know more, and I know I should be better, but I also think I am being taught still. Taught how to fail, so I can learn how to trust again. I took my relationship with Him for granted. He will not forsake us, but sometimes he will let us learn.
Baptism is a spiritual chance to start over, to start a new life. It perpetually sets us aside, makes us “Bought and paid for”, as we die to this life, and begin a new one in Him. It was fitting that Jesus himself even took what John was doing and transformed it into not only a new step in his own life, but one for all of us. For even John said
11“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3-11
He is mightier then me, so I should decrease so he can increase in my own life. Thats what today is about, realizing that Jesus’s ministry Begins,…and it doesn’t end.
Ive always liked the old Spiritual “Wade in the Water”.. It was written during the freeing of the slaves and slightly before, in order to direct them north. For instance “Wade in the Water” would direct them to stay low in the rivers and streams as their captors were after them. The water was a refuge, a protection, that delivered them to freedom. Just like Baptism. Baptism envelopes us, and surrounds us, and with it, we too can reach freedom.
Though this speaks somewhat from the perspective of the so called “Traditional Mass” (which.. there is one mass with two forms…but I digress), it speaks one solid truth that applies to Parishes as a whole in this country..and without this point being addressed… No Mass… No Social Justice Program.. No Father Either slamming down the staff of orthodoxy or Father Being everyone’s friend…will help
The Church is based on evangelization. Why are there people in Evangelical Churches no offense getting half truth? Or Falling prey to chumps like Osteen? Because WE DONT TALK ABOUT OUR FAITH ENOUGH
There are flawed ..Angry blowhards like me.. Shea… Alt… Etc Who are depserately trying to convey an authentic faith
Then it gets railroaded on one side by People like Fr Z.. who are so caught up in Liturgy they Alienate.. Or people on the Other side like the LCWR..who has become some left wing they barely resemble catholics
This line right here sums it up
“This is why evangelization and effectively handing on the faith to the next generation is so critical. Simply having a beautiful liturgy, or a historic building, or a school with old roots in the community, is not enough. Attracting, engaging, and evangelizing actual human beings who will support and sustain structures, institutions, and even liturgies is essential. No one in the Church is exempt from this obligation.”
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/an-urgent-warning-about-the-future-of-the-traditional-latin-mass/#ixzz3wfHJ7pwr
Check this out – Wonderful thoughts on “The Christmas that cant be contained”
Everyone thinks the Feast of the Epiphany is about the Wise Men Seeing Jesus. They were also called Magi… Probably Zoroastrians, who worshiped a supreme deity, and looked to the stars and the world around them to seek signs. They followed a star, which led them to the King of Kings.. but to their surprise, he was in a stable with swaddling cloths..and his Men in waiting were Donkeys, Sheep.. His Mother was a Timid young girl.. Foster father an old man. They Paid him homage..and gave him gifts of Gold, for His Kingship, Frankincense to honor his deity.. and Myrr.. Because of the price they knew from their studies, he would endure.
That’s the historical story of the Epiphany. It also happens to share the date of the Old Calendar Christmas (which many of our Christian Brothers celebrate tomorrow). The Word “Epiphany” means “a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being”. So Truly.. when the wise men experienced our Lord in a stable, they were experiencing the Divine.
What if I told you, we are the modern wise men who should seek him? Sure..many of us are complete failures. I’m one of them. Id cast my sins against the dirtiness of that stable any day and lose. But I also know who I chase after. The wise men crossed deserts and found, under cloak of night.. the Child Divine. THEY WERENT EVEN JEWS.. yet they knew him. They KNEW HIM TO BE GOD INCARNATE.
Likewise, we can know Jesus.. we can have our own epiphany. Rather then marking an “End” to the Christmas Season.. we should mark a beginning to experiencing Christ in his Divinity throughout the year. Many of us will fall along our journey to find him. But in the end.. in the Quiet of the Night..when all is calm..and all is bright in our lives.. (no pun intended), we find him.. in sublime glory.. that demands we step back..and appreciate beauty and peace in his Splendor.
I picked for a meditation on this “Mary Did you know”. ON top of angering Ultra trads (:P).. It also remarkably speaks to the Epiphany, direct with the words “Mary Did you know.. this Sleeping Child you’re holding.. is the great I AM”… THAT Is what epiphany is.. Knowing that HE IS.. That he was Born.> That He has come to make us new.
Mary when she looked in his eyes as only a mother can, had Epiphany. We too.. if we think of the face of God… can look in his eyes.. and we WILL have our own Epiphany
A Blessed Feast to the New Calendrists, and a Happy Christmas to the Old Calendrists. Christ is BORN! Glorify Him!