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Sunday, January 9, 2005

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Psalm 29
Matthew 3:13-17

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the end of christmas and the beginning of a new world

"After Jesus was baptized, He came directly out of the water. Suddenly the sky opened and he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and hover over Him." —Matthew 3:16

"Mary" Christmas on this last day of the Christmas season, the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus. The Lord is calling us to end Christmas by going back to Baptism, the beginning of our Christian life. Today is an ideal time to renew our baptismal promises by rejecting Satan, all his works, and all his promises and by believing ever more deeply in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

When we end Christmas in Trinitarian, baptismal faith, we know in a life-changing way that we are beloved sons and daughters of God our Father with whom He is well pleased (Mt 3:17). This affirmation of perfect, infinite, unconditional, eternal fatherly love fills us "with the Holy Spirit and power" (see Acts 10:38). So loved by the Father and filled with the Spirit, we imitate Jesus and go "about doing good works and healing all who were in the grip of the devil" (Acts 10:38). In this way, we establish "the victory of justice" on the earth (Is 42:6) "to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness" (Is 42:7).

This year, the culture of death may well give way to a civilization of love and life. The renewal of your baptismal promises today has a lot to say about the future of the world. On this last day of Christmas, renew your Baptism.

Prayer:  Abba, may every detail of my life be deeply affected by the fact that You have adopted me as Your child.

Promise:  "I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations." —Is 42:6

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the Christ Child, Savior of the world, Light of lights, and risen Lord!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004