Archive for the ‘Baptism of Jesus’ Category

Renewing Your Baptismal Vows

January 11, 2015

On this feast day of our Lord’s baptism, let us renew the vows of our own baptisms:

Baptism of Christ, the Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altar, c. 1485/1500Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?  (“I do.”)

Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?

Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


Stained Glass Symbols — The Dove

February 9, 2014

Holy Spirit Dove - Sacred Heart Catholic Church -  Wauzeka WIA Symbol of the Holy Spirit

From the Ark, at the time of the Flood, Noah released a dove three times to scout for land. The bird’s return with a fresh olive leaf in its beak signaled an end to the deadly judgment and the beginning of new life. Noah’s dove revealed that peace was restored between heaven and earth. When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, they saw the Holy Spirit descend in bodily form, like a dove, and land upon Christ. By receiving Christ’s baptism, the Holy Spirit comes to rest on us, pouring into us the new life and graces of the Trinity.

Baptize Him? — Baptism of the Lord—Year C

March 3, 2013

We can understand why God chose water as his sacramental instrument. Water is a rich symbol. Water cleans things. Baptism, likewise, cleanses from sin. Water is essential to life, all living creatures depend upon it. Baptism, likewise, gives us divine life. Water is ordinary but precious, like Jesus Christ incarnate. But why is Jesus baptized today? He has no sins and he already has divine life, so why does he seek baptism?

From ancient times, water has also been a symbol of death. Deep waters, such as the temperamental sea, can be dangerous. Going underwater is a symbol of death. Baptism, likewise, immerses us in Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Jesus was not born, baptized, nor sacrificed for his own sake, but for ours. He becomes one of us in life and death so that we may be united to him through these things.

When Jesus comes out of the water, God the Holy Spirit descends and rests upon him. God the Father speaks and declares from heaven, “You are my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” When you were baptized, you came out of the water with Jesus. The Holy Spirit came to rest upon you, and the Father has considered you his child ever since. Now, when the Father gazes on you, he sees his beloved Son. Therefore, call on the power of the Holy Spirit in your needs, and always find peaceful rest in the reality of your sonship.

Podemos entender por qué Dios escogió agua como su instrumento sacramental. El agua es un símbolo rico. El agua limpia las cosas. Bautismo, del mismo modo, limpia de pecado. El agua es esencial para la vida, todos los seres vivos dependen de ella. Bautismo, del mismo modo, nos da la vida divina. El agua es normal, pero precioso, del mismo modo Jesús Cristo encarnado. Pero ¿por qué es bautizado Jesús hoy? Él no tiene pecados y ya tiene la vida divina, así que ¿por qué busca el bautismo?

Desde la antigüedad, el agua ha sido también un símbolo de la muerte. Las aguas profundas, tales como el mar tempermental, pueden ser peligroso. El ir bajo el agua es un símbolo de la muerte. Bautismo, del mismo modo, nos sumerge en la muerte de Jesús y su resurrección. Jesús no nació, bautizado, ni sacrificado por su propio bien, sino para el nuestro. Se convierte en uno de nosotros en la vida y la muerte, para que podamos estar unidos a él a través de estas cosas.

Cuando Jesús sale del agua, Dios el Espíritu Santo desciende y se posa sobre él. Dios el Padre habla y declara desde el cielo: “Tú eres mi hijo, el predilecto; en ti me complazco.” Cuando usted fue bautizado, usted salió de la agua con Jesús. El Espíritu Santo se posó sobre ti, y el Padre ha considerado que su hijo desde entonces. Ahora, cuando el Padre mira en usted, ve a su amado Hijo en usted. Por lo tanto, llamamiento a las potencias del Espíritu Santo en sus necesidades, y siempre encontrar descanso tranquilo en la realidad de su filiación.

Fatima Rosary Reflections

May 31, 2010

We celebrate May as the month of Mary, but we gather this particular day because 93 years ago Mary appeared to three children outside a small village in Portugal named Fatima. We will now pray the rosary and I will share with you just some of this story of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima.

[Pray the usual introductory Rosary Prayers]

In the year before Mary appeared to them, Lucia age 10, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta, ages eight and seven, were grazing their sheep in a field. A dazzlingly beautiful young man, seemingly made of light, appeared to them and identified himself as the Angel of Peace. He invited them to pray with Him, and taught them a simple prayer.  I will pray this prayer three times and I invite you to join with me.

“My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love You! I beg pardon for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love You. Amen.”

In the 1st Luminous Mystery we encounter “Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan.” Jesus was not a sinner, He did not need baptism for himself, but He was baptized to become an advocate and intercessor for others. Likewise, let us pray as advocates and intercessors for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, or do not love God throughout the world.

[Pray the First Luminous Mystery]

On another occasion, the Angel of Peace appeared before them holding a chalice in his hands. Above it was suspended a host from which drops of blood were falling into the chalice. The Angel left the chalice suspended in the air, prostrated himself before it, and taught the children this prayer:

“O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.”

In the 2nd Luminous Mystery we encounter “Jesus’ Miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana.” For them, Jesus changed water into wine. For us, He changes wine into His blood. Are we indifferent to this miracle in our midst, or does it really matter to us? Let us pray that the Eucharist would transform us.

[Pray the Second Luminous Mystery]

On May 13, 1917, after lunch on a clear blue day, the children were praying the rosary. Suddenly, they saw two bright flashes. They looked up and saw, in Lucia’s words, “a lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun…”

The Lady smiled and said: “Do not be afraid, I will not harm you.” Lucia asked her where she came from. The Lady pointed to the sky and said: “I come from heaven.” Lucia asked what she wanted. She said, “I have come to ask you to come here for six months on the 13th day of the month, at this same hour.” They tried to keep it to themselves, word of the children’s encounter with the Heavenly Lady got out. Though they were met with the townspeople’s skepticism and mockery, the children would not deny what they had seen and heard.

In the 3rd Luminous Mystery we encounter “Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God.” Let us pray to be irresistibly led to proclaim what we have experienced in Christ.

[Pray the Third Luminous Mystery]

On July 13th, the incredibly beautiful Lady appeared to them again. Lucia asked her who she was, and for a miracle so everyone would believe. She answered, “Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.” And the Lady taught them this prayer:

“Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven,  especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.”

In the 4th Luminous Mystery we encounter “Jesus’ Transfiguration.” Sometimes we look at other people and think that they can’t change what they are. The apostles thought like this, but Jesus opened their eyes with His Transfiguration. Let us pray for the grace of transformation; in our family members, in our friends, and especially among those in most need of God’s Mercy.

[Pray the Fourth Luminous Mystery]

At noon on the 13th of October, 1917, some 70,000 people were gathered in the field. With a flash of light the Lady appeared to the children, and Lucia, for the last time, asked her what she wanted. The Lady answered, “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.” And the Blessed Virgin Mary urged the conversion of hearts, as she had many times before, “Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.”

What happened next was reported at the time in an anti-religious Portuguese newspaper, by a reporter who had previously written dismissively about the goings-on at Fatima:

“…One could see the immense multitude turn towards the sun, which appeared free from clouds and at its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: “A miracle! A miracle!” Before the astonished eyes of the crowd… the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws – the sun “danced” according to the typical expression of the people.”

In the 5th Luminous Mystery we encounter “Jesus’ Institution of the Eucharist.” What the masses saw in the heavens that day was a great miracle. But what we encounter at every Mass is an even greater wonder. Let us pray that we would always have the eyes to see it.

[Pray the Fifth Luminous Mystery, followed by the usual closing Rosary Prayers]

(Primary Source)

Encountering Jesus in Prayer — Baptism of the Lord—Year C

January 11, 2010

At Jesus’ baptism, the Father spoke to Him from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Today, our Father wants you to hear Him say to you, “You are my beloved child and with you I am well pleased.”

This may be hard for us to hear. Maybe we think to ourselves, “I’m certainly not Jesus.   How could God be well pleased with me? Our past and present sins of come to mind and we feel pained by guilt. In times of prayer and in our daily life we are burdened by the thought that we are not the person God wants us to be. We think, “If only I were better, if only I could be perfect, then I could live and pray like the saints and God would love me.” If we think like this, our thinking has it backwards.

It’s not that God decides to love the saints, or us, only after we have achieved holiness by our own incredible feats of strength, endurance and personal sacrifice. Here’s the secret to the saints: the knowledge of God’s love and pleasure toward them came to them first, the saints’ great holiness only followed. Saints are not self-made men and women. It is by accepting God’s embracing love for us that we’re empowered to live incredible lives of love. We live like saints if we live in the truth that God loves us already.

To bear this point out, I would like you to try a thought experiment.  (You may close your eyes if you think it will help.) Imagine if you were a completely perfect person, totally free from sin, and free from guilt and fear before Him. Now pray to the Father in heaven imagining you’re this perfect version of yourself.

If you’re like me, imagining this makes it much easier to approach Him, to love Him, to praise Him, to thank Him and to feel His love for you.

And now, still imagining you’re this perfect person, consider the day or the week ahead of you.  What kind of attitude do you feel towards your life?

Again, if you’re like me, you find it much easier to see the future not so much as a burden, but with a certain eager calm. You view your life as an great opportunity to serve and to love from out of the abundance of love that you feel.

It’s not just your imagination that makes you feel this way.  It is the Holy Spirit confirming a truth in you. And the truth is that when the Father looks at you He doesn’t see the unlovable wretch of your fears, He sees something much closer to this perfect person.  By our baptism into Christ, we are loved as God’s daughters and sons, but maybe we not living like the saints we so admire because we’re tripped up by fear and self-doubts, thinking that for us intimacy with God remains a thousand miles away. The Father wants you to be confident, peaceful, and joyful in His love for you. In this way of His, He will lead you out of sins which history proves that your own efforts alone cannot conquer. Compared to the self-imposed yoke of our own anxious strivings to holy, the way of accepting God’s love for us is easy and light, and it actually works. We will live like saints when we accept the truth that God loves us already.

The saints became saints by overflowing with God’s love for them, by receiving His acceptance, approval and pleasure. These are gifts which He always wanted to give them, and He would do the same for us, if only we would let Him. So when you pray the Our Father today do it as the Father’s beloved son or daughter. And whenever you pray, or in whatever you do, do it in the liberating and empowering truth: “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.”