January 12, 2014 — Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Is 42: 1-4, 6-7; Ps 29: 1-4, 9-10; Acts 10: 34-38; Mt 3: 13-17
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This is an important feast from a number of perspectives. It follows closely after our celebration of the birth of Christ at Christmas. Of course, from the perspective of the Church it marks the official end of the Christmas season.
More important, however, is the reminder of the significance and importance of Baptism. Our Baptism is more important than almost any other event in our lives. Yet, many do not know the date of their Baptism, and very few actually celebrate that date, although we should.
We are also quite likely with the term our “Baptismal call.” This is a call to how we should live our lives; it is a call to stewardship. The Catechism reminds us that “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit.” The Catechism continues to say “Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift.”
So what exactly is our Baptismal Call? We are called to live our lives in imitation of Christ. It can be summarized, as it was by Jesus Himself, quite simply. We are called to “Love one another.” There are three things which bind us together as Catholics — this love; the Eucharist; and our Baptism. Living lives of stewardship is one way that we carry out this Baptismal call — this call to love.