THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
January 12-13, 2019
Our starting point in faith, in life is from a place of unconditional love and acceptance by God. What a way to begin our life! So why do we forget that? Why do we seem to think we are too broken, too difficult, too scared to be loved by God whose we are? Somehow we imagine God will love us only after we are fixed. As we close out the Christmas season today and head back into Ordinary Time, we are called to carry with us what we began these past few weeks. This special season calls us to shift our focus onto God. However everyday life can get in the way of that. Life overwhelms us and tells us to do too many things at once, to fill up any empty spaces or pauses with things that seem more productive. The empty spaces or pauses are where life with God begins. Like the rests in a symphony that keep the music from becoming a mishmash of sound, the pauses or empty spaces can shape our days and our life’s journey if we are willing to resist the temptation of filling all the spaces or pauses with frenetic activity.
Jesus comes to us over and over again where we are, over and over again because he loves us. Jesus is unbelievably pleased with us. It is never his style to shout directions to us from some safe place of his own. He has always led us from within our midst, joining us in the water, in the skin to show us how living as God’s Beloved is done. He never asks us to go anywhere he has not been first. From dust to ashes, from the cradle through the waters of baptism to the grave, he knows what we are up against and has showed us how to live so that life never ends: choosing to go God’s way.
As we move away from the Christmas season, let us not backslide into our frenetic pace: rushing without pausing, working without resting, talking without listening. May I suggest that as we go through our days we check in with Jesus at least twice a day? It doesn’t have to be long and elaborate: doesn’t even have to be words. Be conscious of breathing in and out, asking the Holy Spirit to do the rest.