Pastor’s Weekly Message 1-9-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

Today we hear the Evangelist Luke’s account of the moment when Jesus comes to the River Jordan and is baptized by His cousin, John. I often ask in my homily at Baptisms a question that is not answered completely by the Scripture, why did Jesus choose to be baptized? 

For us, Baptism is the first step in our relationship with God. Baptism opens the door to salvation and encourages us to walk through it. Baptism claims us as God’s own forever and invites us to live out our identity as a loved child of God. For Jesus all of this was already true and more. Jesus chose to be baptized to show us how crucial Baptism is to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Baptism was to become a bedrock of the Christian faith. By participating in it at the outset of His public ministry Jesus highlighted its transformative power.

For many of us, Baptism was a choice our parents made for us, and we do not remember the moment of our Baptism. Almost certainly it was not as dramatic as Jesus’s in the River Jordan! However, the words of our Heavenly Father to us were the same, “You are my beloved child.” Isn’t that what we all long to here? I see you, I love you, I value you, you are mine.

We are blessed to have a God who says this to us, not just once, at the moment of our Baptism, but over and over again throughout our journey of faith. It may be hard to hear it because the noise of life is always competing to drown out the loving words of God. In Luke’s account it was not the moment of submersion in the water that brought the appearance of the Trinity, it was the time immediately after when Jesus was praying. Again, Jesus sets us the perfect example, the way to hear the Father’s voice, the way to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, is simply to pray.
I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, new hope and great peace,

 Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.

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