The Baptism of the Lord [C] HOMILY

baptism of christ 1483 Perugino

The Baptism of the Lord [C]
Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7  +  Acts 10:34-38  +  Luke 3:15-16,21-22
January 10, 2016

“ ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’ ”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God the Father spoke those words about you?  “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.”  Well, this final day of the Christmas Season helps us realize that that’s exactly what God the Father says to you—every day—beginning on the day of your baptism.

It’s not a newsflash that “childhood” is one the major themes of the Church’s season of Christmas.  One of the most famous Christmas hymns asks the question:  “What Child is this / Who laid to rest / on Mary’s lap / is sleeping?”  What child is this?  Who is this child?  How can a helpless infant possibly be the same God who fashioned the stars, the galaxies, the black holes and everything else in the physical universe?  How can a little child possibly be the eternal God?  Christmas is full of such paradoxes, or as the Church tends to call them, sacred mysteries.

But the mystery of this particular Christ Child is not the only mystery about childhood that the Church ponders during the Christmas Season.  This season also focuses our attention on you and me being called to adoption as God’s very own children.  For example, last Sunday on the feast of the Holy Family, the Second Reading came from St. John’s first epistle.  In that passage St. John spoke about this divine adoption, proclaiming:  “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.  And so we are. … Beloved, we are God’s children now.”[1] Continue reading