Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

The Jordan River: photo taken by Mary Belz, postulant
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: 
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water; 
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee 
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open 
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, 
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:7-11)

Happy Feast of the Baptism of the Lord! We were all consecrated in our Baptism to follow Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) explains:
1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.

Pretty powerful and challenging words from the Church! Either as one who is baptized in Christ, or as one who is also a parent or godparent of a baptized child, it is good to reflect upon these words and ask how we are sharing in her mission.
 How are we living out our baptismal promises or helping others to do so?

What about religious? Or those seeking a vocation?
  Religious are in a special way called to lived out their baptismal promises. They have a special commitment:

916 The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.

During this year of consecrated life let us learn more about the religious life and vocations, and pray for religious. Check-out these resources on the USCCB site. This year may we ask Our Lord for an increase of dedicated consecrated men and women religious, that many would respond to the call to more radically embrace their baptismal promises; thereby pouring much grace upon the world.. May they be inspired by Jesus Christ, supported by our faith community, and respond generously to God’s gift of a vocation.
-Mary Belz, postulant

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