“WE ARE URGED TO MOVE QUICKLY BEYOND THE INTIMATE SCENE OF JESUS’S BIRTH TOWARD THE MORE CHALLENGING VISION OF HIS BAPTISM. IN SHORT, WE ARE ASKED TO MOVE…FROM CONCERN FOR INTIMACY TO CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY.” (A Christmas Sourcebook, p.144) Today is the FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD! The baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan begins Jesus’s pastoral ministry.  Today’s feast also brings the Christmas Season to a close. Next week, we resume Ordinary Time. The baptism of Jesus should also remind us of our own baptism. When we were baptized, our parents and godparents spoke for us, reminding the church that they would be examples of discipleship and of following Jesus for us. Hopefully, as we have grown into adulthood, we have come to understand that being a disciple of Jesus is now our responsibility. This means that it is not just about us; we have a responsibility to help make the presence of Jesus a reality in our lives. It happens when we listen to the Word as it is expressed in the life of the church, and begin to make that real in the way we speak, act and think. As Jesus is the sign of the Father for us, so we are the sign of Jesus for others. This is true for each of us and for the church. We are reminders of the presence of Jesus as he calls us to holiness and goodness. Our responsibility is to recognize that we live in a community of brothers and sisters and as such, we are invited to help make the kingdom of God a reality for all we meet. Sometimes, this may seem difficult because not everyone wants to listen and pay attention to what we say and do. But that doesn’t diminish the importance of radiating the presence of Jesus for others. Rather, it should help make us more convinced that we have been called by the Lord for this purpose, and to let everyone know that Jesus is the Messiah and Lord who lived, died and rose for us all. HAPPY BAPTISM!!!FR. JOE

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