Pastor’s Weekly Message 1-10-21

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

There can be no greater endorsement for the power and importance of the Sacrament of Baptism, than that Jesus Himself was baptized. Little is known from Scripture of Jesus’s life from the time of the Magi’s visit until he comes to the river Jordan for Baptism. We know as a child, while visiting Jerusalem with His family, He stayed behind after they had left and went to the Temple. His understanding amazed everyone present, and when his harried parents found Him, His response to their distress was to wonder why they did not know to look for Him there, as it was his Father’s house. (Luke 2:47-49) After this incident all that is said of the intervening years is that He went back to Nazareth and was obedient to Mary and Joseph. (Luke 2:51).

We know that Jesus was fully aware that He was the Son of God, but in Mark’s telling of the Baptism of the Lord, He receives the affirmation that every child craves from their parent, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” We can relate to the intimacy of this moment. No matter how old we are, or how much we have accomplished, we still rejoice to hear our parents tell us that they love us and are proud of us.

Duke University divinity professor Dr. Joel Marcus says of the Baptism of the Lord, “God has ripped the heavens apart irrevocably at Jesus’ baptism, never to shut them again. Through this gracious gash in the universe, he has poured forth his Spirit into the earthly realm.” While the heavens were not ripped apart on the day of our Baptism, through this gracious gash there was a similar moment of intimacy for each one of us. A moment where God said in our hearts, “You are my beloved child.” I encourage you to join me in renewing your baptismal promises this week and in listening for God’s voice, claiming you as His own.

I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, renewed hope and great peace.

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.

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