January 10, 2021
While the Christmas cycle of feasts ends with Candlemas Day, February 2nd, and many households with European backgrounds keep the decorations up until then, the official end of the liturgical season of Christmas ends today with the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. Our Savior’s baptism constitutes the second manifestation of Christ to the whole world. The first manifestation or Epiphany was the visit of the Wise Men to Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the third being the changing of water into wine at the wedding of Cana.
Jesus manifests both his human and divine natures at his baptism. He shows the world that he shares our humanity by submitting to the baptism of repentance administered by St. John the Baptist. Though sinless, Jesus wants to enter fully into the human experience to reassure us that he is indeed Emmanuel, God with Us. He manifests his Divinity by making the Holy Trinity being present: God the Son was present in the person of Jesus; God the Father’s voice was heard affirming Jesus as his own beloved Son; and God the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove. Because Jesus was baptized, the water of the Jordan River was made holy, and water has since become a powerful sacramental in the life of the Church. Every time we use Holy Water should remind us of our baptism when we were empowered to share in God’s Life though grace.
As the Christmas Season comes to a close, I would like to express my thanks to all of you who were extra generous to Assumption Parish this holy season: those who cleaned , disinfect and decorate the church, who donate food and other items to the less fortunate, those who donated to our mission in Haiti, and those who made the special effort to make significant offerings in their Christmas envelope and those who made donations. The support you provided mad a great difference in the ministry of the parish. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your blessings with us so generously. May the Prince of Peace reward you for your kindness.