Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Not too long ago a catchy little advertisement mentioned a “gift that keeps on giving”. Though I cannot recall what merchandise it referred to, I like to apply that understanding to the precious First of Seven Gifts given to us, namely Baptism. As we celebrate Our Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan by His cousin John, it is only fitting that we contemplate our own Baptism and all that has come subsequently in our lives as a result of it. The Son of the Father has made us a child of God, restoring our fallen human nature to a life of grace. Original sin and actual sin (if we are baptized after the age of reason) is washed away and we become a member of God’s family on earth, that family being the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. We remember that Christ always leads the way. He sanctifies the element of water to be the means by which we are re-born into the life of grace and henceforth we bear the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the depths of our souls. From then our new identity is Christian. Our baptism starkly reminds us who we are, followers of Jesus Christ with a purpose, and a destiny, and a mission to live what we are. Indeed that is a tall order which call only be fulfilled when we receive the unending infusion of grace that comes from the other Sacraments to our mission, most especially the Holy Eucharist.
Tomorrow we return, for the next eight weeks, to Ordinary Time. We go about our ordinary routines with the extraordinary grace of God to assist us. Always be mindful that you are His light in the world and the salt of the earth as a beloved son and daughter of God.
My sincere and ever-grateful thanks to all who gave so generously to your Parish this Christmas season. I am also very thankful to those who have kindly and generously offered gifts to me and Father Dominic. We are humbled by your thoughtfulness and remembrance. May the Good Lord reward you for taking such good care of your priests.
Blessings Upon All As We Forge Ahead In This New Year,