The Power Of Baptism

10 Jan

“The Lord was Baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism.”  ~ St. Ambrose of Milan

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  As we do so, we bring to an end the Christmas Season and begin, tomorrow, Ordinary Time.

Time moves inexorably whether or not we are ready for it.  I am sure that there were many people who were not ready for Christmas.  Yet, it came nonetheless.  Others will not be ready for upcoming holidays and other celebrations.  That seems to be the way of the world.  We rush and rush and seem to make little progress.

The Christmas Season was rich with story and tradition. We celebrated family — biological, parish, and other — when we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family.  We called to mind how we are to seek the Lord when we celebrated the Solemnity of the Epiphany.  Today, we remind ourselves that our Baptism washed away original sin, made us children of God, and made us members of Christ’s Church.

As such, we are indebted to the Lord.  God has been faithful throughout the ages and will always be faithful to His great promise. He will be our God at all times and we, for our part, are called to be His people.  When we live as Christ, when we are kind and forgiving, when we practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, we show that we desire to live for the Lord and, ultimately, with the Lord.

Our mission, then, as we move into Ordinary Time, is to live as faithful witnesses of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We will be given reminders and opportunities to do so as we enter the Lenten Season.  (Like it or not and ready or not, Lent begins this year on February 17 with Ash Wednesday.) Lent is a rich season as it gives us many opportunities to reflect upon the extremes the Lord was willing to endure to save His people.

We will be ready to enter that Holy Season if we nurture the peace and joy that is in our hearts from our celebration of Christmas.  How wondrous that our Almighty God would take on our flesh in the Mystery of the Incarnation.  What love.  What devotion.  What can we give Him in return?

FAITH ACTION:  Reflect upon the Sacrament of Baptism and ask God to give you a deeper understanding of that great gift as well as the responsibilities that became yours at Baptism.