HOMILY CONNECT–JANUARY 9, 2022
FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
Scripture: Is 42:1-4, 6-7 Acts 10:34-38 Lk 3:15-16, 21-22
WHAT IS A PHILTRUM?
- It is that tiny indentation or grove in the upper lip of every human person
Our Jewish sisters and brothers tell a holy story about the philtrum, which we received from the angel of conception, Lailah, at the moment of our birth. Lailah is a teaching angel, who, before our birth, lit a candle allowing the precious unborn little one’s spirit to see from one end of the earth to the other. Then Lailah teaches the human spirit the whole of the Torah, which is the Jewish law. As soon as the infant is born, though, Lailah lightly strikes the child’s lip, and the child forgets everything
- This myth presents to us a good image as we reflect on Jesus’ and our own baptism
THE RITE OF BAPTISM
- Immerses us in the sacred dignity as precious daughters and sons of God
- We are created in God’s sacred image and likeness
- Holy moment when the sacred chrism is smeared on crown of head in the sign of cross
- Sacred oil-chrism-sounds like Jesus’ title – Christ – Anointed One
- Jesus anointed Priest-Prophet-King, we too are anointed Priest-Prophet-King
- We are conformed to Jesus – we grow in grace and holiness
We begin to look more like Jesus – we start to think, feel and act like him
ARE YOU AND I BECOMING LIKE JESUS? DO YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE LOVED?
- Sometimes I don’t think so – Yet, like Jesus, God is well pleased with us
- “You are beloved son!” “You are my beloved daughter!”
- We need to hear the Lord’s words throughout our lives
- Thoughts of self-rejection and unworthiness are snuffed out by God’s declaration
- You are precious to the Lord! You are held tenderly in the palm of his hand!
- You will never be forgotten! The Lord is ever close and tender!
VATICAN II – WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD – WE ARE THE CHURCH
- We are at our best when baptized believers share in the Priesthood of Jesus
- We are all filled with the Holy Spirit
- Synodality important – We the people walk with bishops listening to each other
- We reverence the experience of each other
- The Holy Spirit is not about maintaining the status quo
- Holy Spirit recoils when we say “We’ve always done it that way.”
OUR HOLY SYNOD LAST SPRING – TRUST MORE IS COMING
- More opportunities coming this spring to plug us into the Holy Father’s call to be a synodal church
- Trust you have been given a share in gifts of the Holy Spirit and a priestly ministry
- Trust in your experiences of God – they are precious
- Trust your Church values your insights
As Pope Francis always says: May we become a poor church for the poor! May we become a Church that is like a field hospital ministering with warmth and compassion to those who are hurting or feel pushed aside!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What impacted you from the readings/homily?
- How do you understand your baptism? How would you explain it to someone who has not been baptized?
- What do you think your gifts of the Holy Spirit might be?
- Do you believe that you are a beloved son or daughter of God? Would be able to express to someone else that they are also so loved?
- How do you use your baptism to bring Jesus to life in your family or church?
LIVE CONNECTED Pray in thanksgiving this week for your baptism and ask God to help you find ways to serve Him with your gifts.