Friday, January 10, 2020

Don’t Overlook Your Blessings

Dear Parishioners,

Sometimes we overlook the blessings we have received from God. We take them for granted. So I thought I would share a beautiful and powerful reflection from Pope Francis on January 7, 2018.

Fr. Carl

Today’s feast of the Baptism of our Lord ends the Christmas season and invites us to think of our Baptism. Jesus willed to receive the baptism preached and administered by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. It was a baptism of penance: all those who approached it expressed the desire to be purified from sin and, with God’s help, committed themselves to begin a new life. We understand then the great humility of Jesus. He who had not sinned put himself in line with the penitents, mixing among them, to be baptized in the waters of the river. What humility Jesus has! And by doing so, He showed what we celebrated at Christmas: Jesus’ willingness to immerse Himself in the river of humanity, to take upon Himself the failures and weaknesses of men, to share their desire for liberation and to overcome all that distances one from God and makes brothers strangers. As at Bethlehem, along the banks of the Jordan, God keeps His promise to take charge of the human beings’ fate, and Jesus is the tangible and definitive sign of it. He took charge of all of us then and now. Today’s gospel says that “when He came up out of the water, immediately He saw the Heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.” The Holy Spirit is the engine that powers Jesus’ Baptism and our Baptism as well. It’s the Spirit that opens the eyes of our heart to the whole truth. He pushes our life on the path of charity. He is the gift the Father gave to each one of us on the day our Baptism. He, the Spirit, sends to us the tenderness of divine forgiveness. And it is He, the Holy Spirit, that makes the revealing Word of God declare, “Thou are my beloved Son.” — Pope Francis