Baptism of the Lord 2021

Fr. Mark Gatto

Date Posted: January 10, 2021

Who among us is alone at this time?  Who feels isolated?  Who is struggling with loneliness?  Who is searching for meaningful contact with other people?

After he rises from his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus experiences the voice of the Father, “You are my Son, the Beloved.”  Jesus had a deep sense of connection with the Father.  Jesus experienced being a Beloved Son.  The entire life of Jesus, his teachings, his actions, it all sprang out of this deep connection and intimacy.  He lived as a Beloved Son.

Each of us also need to experience and be rooted in a deep sense of connection and intimacy.  To know within that sense of being beloved sons or daughters.

Beginning with our Baptism, we were united to Jesus and adopted as beloved children of God.  All the Sacraments are meant to deepen this sense of being beloved.  Our prayer should lead us into being intimately united to the Holy Trinity, the Living God.

This is the key and first step to living a truly Christian life, a healthy and loving human life.  It hopefully begins within our own families where we first experience being loved.  To know that we are loved not for what we can do or offer, but simply beloved in ourselves.

The sign of a civilization of love is that no one is seen as expendable.  How do we treat the disabled, refugees, the elderly, the unborn, the poor?  It is a failure of a society when we see certain people as inconvenient.  Are there certain groups of people in our society that we push aside as unworthy of our care?

The Covid Pandemic has forced us to reflect as individuals, as a society, as a church, on how we live together.  To reflect on who is neglected and who has been abandoned by us.  It has caused us to realize that we need one another, that we are not just individuals going through life on our own.  We are connected as one human family, we are brothers and sisters.  A good examination of conscience should reflect on who needs my care in some way.

Each of us needs to experience that deep call within us, “you are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter.”  Listen in silence for that voice of God speaking in your heart and holding you in a gentle embrace.

From that starting point, we need to look around at the people in our lives, our families, our parish, our community.  Who is alone, who is isolated, who is lonely, who is searching for a caring heart?  Reach out, listen, connect in some way.

As a beloved son or daughter of God, see in your neighbour a beloved son or daughter of God, brothers and sisters all.  Then look around and see who needs to experience themselves as beloved through your personal care.

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