Happy Feast of the Three Kings! The Christmas season is quickly coming to an end. We have experienced God’s love through the birth of Jesus and this Sunday, we are reminded of the Baptism of Our Lord.
The Gospel reading for this coming Sunday January 9th, reminds me of the fruitfulness of sacramental life in our church. I was an infant when I was baptized so I do not remember the experience. I do, however, have pictures and can see the excitement in my parents for their daughter as a daughter of God.
I want to take some time to share some of my thoughts after praying with the following:
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
I can picture the scene, and can feel as if I’m there! When I read the last line, I get a sense of peace, warmth and unconditional love.
The new year can fill us with a lot of emotions! Some of us might have already looked through our year to see what’s upcoming and start panicking – this year is going to be so stressful! (guilty!) A constant thought that comes to mind as I pray with this passage revolves around sacramental life. And as I plan for things in the near and far future, how am I making the space to participate in the sacramental life of the church and BE present? This new year, I want to invite the Holy Spirit to continue igniting the graces, freely given, by being more present in the experiences that nourish me. This by no means is easy. But that’s why the last line in that passage sticks out to me so much: “with you I am well pleased”.
God our Father is pleased with us! He desires an intimate relationship with Him through Jesus and His Holy Spirit. When we become nourished through sacramental life, we are filled with the courage and strength to remain hopeful and to know that He is pleased with us.
So I challenge you. Enter into the sacramental life of your community. Reflect on how you felt and how God was speaking to you. Don’t be hard on yourself but examine and be honest about where you may need to be more present. Be open to how the Holy Spirit, with your cooperation, is inviting you to renew your Baptismal call for the Kingdom of God.