Our Baptism Makes Us Heralds

10 Jan

Go up on to a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!  (Is 40:9)

In one sense, it is all over.  In another sense, it is just beginning.

Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  This feast marks two events:  (1) the official end of the Christmas Season and (2) the beginning of Ordinary Time.

For the past few weeks, we have been celebrating the wonders of the Lord’s incarnation beginning with Christmas Day.  In the season, we have celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family, reminding us that — whether easy and joyful or messy and difficult — we are all called to be family.

On January 1st, we gathered together on the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God.  We praised Mary for her humble “Yes” to God and asked her to intercede for us that we might have the grace to embrace God’s will for us as fully as she did.

Then we celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord, remembering that Jesus manifested Himself to the world through the world’s representatives, the Magi.  This gave us great hope because God came for all people, including you and me, and not just a select few.

All of these celebrations have filled us with hope.  Today, we need that hope because we are being reminded that, by the virtue of our baptisms, we have been commissioned by the Lord to be His heralds.

It is always much easier for us to think about other people having to do the work of the Lord.  It gives us comfort to know that others go out to the missions to proclaim the Good News.  It gives us joy to know that there are many people dedicated to helping the poor and the needy.  It gives us consolation knowing that so many go to the hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice centers to bring a message of hope and peace to those in need.

However, it scares the living daylights out of many of us to hear that we are called to do the same.  We are called to proclaim the Good News.  We are called to go out to the world.  We are called to give a message of hope and peace to those in need.

Yes.  We.  You and me.

Christmas is over.  The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord tells us that our work is just beginning.  We must remember, however, that we do not have to go alone.  By the virtue of our baptisms, we have received a measure of the Holy Spirit.  God is always with us and will give us exactly what we need when we need it.  All we have to do is trust in Him.

FAITH ACTION:  Do what you can this day to be a herald of Good News to family or friends or those in need.