January 10, 2009 – Speaking of Baptism

This past week was “getting back into the groove” week – no holidays during the week, and the kids back in school.  The holiday season is always a nice change of pace from the normal routine, but after a couple of weeks of Wednesday seeming like Friday, and Friday seeming like Monday, it’s nice to get back into the normal routine.

Speaking of the kids getting back to school, major kudos go out to the students and teachers in our school for the great job they did with the Christmas program this past Thursday, especially considering that the original date had to be postponed due to the weather.  I’m sure it was tough for the kids get get the “holiday spirit” back, but they did wonderfully.  It was a very nice way to put an official wrap on the holiday season.

This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus.  To me this is one of the best examples of Jesus’ humanity as well as his divinity.  I’m sure Jesus didn’t stand out in the crowd in any way that day – He was simply one of many whom John the Baptist was proclaiming his message to.  Little did anyone know that the Messiah John the Baptist was promising would come was actually in their midst.

The fact that Jesus was willing to be baptized among everyone else that day was an indication of how important our own baptism should be to us and the place it should hold in our life.  Do you know what day you were baptized?  Do you know who the priest, deacon or person was who performed your baptism?  Do you have a copy of your baptismal certificate?  Do you know who your sponsors were?  Amazingly enough, some people I know cannot answer some or all of these questions.

There are a few large parishes who have taken the step of sending a card or some type of rememberance to folks not on their birthday, but on their “baptism” day.  Obviously it takes a lot of resources to do this, but this should not stop us from trying to find out a little more about our baptism if we are not familiar with what happened that day.  We may have to blow the dust off of the baby book, or place a phone call to our parents or to the church where we were baptized.  Our own baptism is an event that should be recognized and celebrated, as in its own way it is sort of a “birthday” for us, the day when we found new birth in Christ.

This coming week in our country is recognized as National Vocations Awareness Week.  We are asked always, but especially this week to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  All of us, even those of us who have considered a vocation in the past and decided to move in a different direction, still have the obligation to encourage vocations.  Let us pray then in a special way this week for more willing men and women to step forward and answer the call. 

Finally, I hadn’t mentioned this last week because I know it would be too painful for some people in the parish, but the Cardinals lost one of their more popular players, Aaron Miles, to the, um, well, the Cubs.  To Cardinal nation – keep the faith, nothing is impossible, remember I am with you always, and any other Scripture that you can muster.  The Lord works in mysterious ways (though not as mysterious as Cardinal management).

Stay warm this week (temperatures possibly near 0).  Peace. 



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