“Baptism is bowing before the Father and letting him do his work.” ~ Max Lucado
Today is the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord and the end of the Christmas Season. Tomorrow we will begin Ordinary Time which gets its name from the Latin word ordinalis which refers to numbers in a series. Ordinary Time, then, is the counting of the weeks from the Baptism of the Lord to the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year.
When we proceed into Ordinary Time, we need to know who and what we are about. The Christmas Season should have refreshed and renewed us and the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, along with our own renewal of baptismal promises, inform us of our dignity and mission. We are children of God and God calls us to go into His world, proclaiming the Good News and baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The call to baptism is important for it is the moment that the stain of original sin is washed from our souls and we become children of God. In the days of the Lord, baptism was used as a means for repentance and for turning one’s life around.
You can well imagine John’s shock and mystification when Jesus appeared before him to be baptized. John had an implicit knowledge of who his cousin, Jesus, truly was and John was reluctant to baptize the Lord. However, Jesus said “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Mt 3:15) Because of that, John baptized Jesus in the Jordan.
That is the herald call to each of us this day: Allow it. Allow God to come into your lives. Allow God to lead you to newness of life. Allow God to call you to new and greater ministry. Allow God to open your eyes to the needs of the poor and needy. Allow God to use you for his voice, and hands, and heart.
Allow it. Allow Him.
FAITH ACTION: Reject Satan and all his works and proudly profess your faith in Jesus Christ, the one who sets us all free.