Sunday, January 11, 2015

Beloved sons and daughters

Today is the last day of the Church's liturgical season of Christmas.  So many of us ask why the feast of the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan (today's feast) is included in the Christmas season.  In his homily at Mass this morning Father said the tiny baby you see in the manger is the man we see standing in the River Jordan.  Christmas is about God's revealing Himself to us through the incarnation of his Son.  Today Jesus is revealed in a very dramatic way as the Son of God.  In fact, as Jesus comes up out of the water, after having been baptized by St. John the Baptist, the heavens were "torn open" and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove upon Jesus while at the same time we hear the voice of God the Father who tells us that "this is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased."  At this moment Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit who anoints Him for His public ministry which is about to begin.

What can we take from this feast?  We too have been baptized and Confirmed in the Holy Spirit which enables us to carry out our vocation to love the Father and to spread the Good news about Him to all those we meet.  We too are the Father's beloved sons and daughters!  Do we ever pray to the Holy Spirit?  I know I forget to do so on many a day.  But we have received the Holy Spirit and it is so important to call on the Holy Spirit each morning to lead us through the day. 

A simple prayer by St. Augustine:  "Breathe on me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.  Act in me O Holy Spirit that all my work too may be holy.  Draw my heart O Holy Spirit that I love but what is holy.  Strengthen me O Holy Spirit to defend all that is holy.  Guard me then O Holy Spirit that I always may be holy.  Amen.

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