Connecting Point: January 10, 2021

Today’s readings draw us, as witnesses, into the baptism of Jesus and the promise of God’s kingdom. It is interesting that this gospel is on the last Sunday of the Christmas liturgical season. Next week we will move to Ordinary time and witness, the beginning of Christ's ministry in the world. As one door closes another door opens to guide us in our faith. How does Jesus’ baptism guide us forward especially in this New Year?

The first reading tells us what the baptism of Jesus will mean to all those who are to be baptized, “… I have grasped you by the hand …to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” This reminds us that the Lord has grasped our hand as well since we are all part of the body of Christ.

With the end of Christmas and the beginning of this New Year it is a good time to focus on accepting our baptismal call and testifying to the light. We can embrace the meaning of Jesus’ baptism and challenge injustice. A poem by Howard Thurman helps us to reflect on what our baptismal call means:

The Work of Christmas

By Howard Thurman

When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among brothers,

To make music from the heart.

While we journey through 2021, let’s remember our baptismal call and challenge injustice in the world. Then hopefully we too will hear a voice come from the heavens saying, “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.”

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Connecting Point: January 17, 2021