Baptism of the Lord Jesus
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord Jesus. It is amazing to hear the Father’s voice calling upon us to listen to Jesus! What a wonderful and mysterious role St. John the Baptist had in the Baptism of our Lord. He certainly was blessed with many graces in his life that prepared him for his mission to go before our Lord. But, have you ever thought that we are blessed to receive graces like the Baptist? Indeed at our own baptism and at each time we open ourselves to receive a Sacrament of our Faith and take time to pray with our good Lord, we are drawn to become more like St. John the Baptist. What kind of life habits might St. John have practiced that prepared him for and sustained him in his mission? Here are a few daily habits that he likely practiced:
Live in Christ’s Friendship – We Catholics refer to this as being in a state of grace. That is, live a real, relational, sacramental life and, particularly, seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of
Reconciliation frequently (at least once a month), especially whenever you become aware of committing a grave sin. Mortal sin particularly destroys friendship with Jesus.
Practice Humility and Surrender to the Lord –We are all inclined to be prideful in a sinful way. If we think we already have all the answers, we won’t be open to learning, so get into the habit of practicing humility daily. Humbly surrender your mind and will to the Lord. Be willing to learn out Catholic Faith and, most importantly, be open to put what you learn into
action in your life.
Pray Daily – Do we really love God above all else? Then taking time to be with God in prayer should be one of our daily priorities. That’s what you do when you love someone - you spend time in their company. Prayer is spending time with God. In prayer, we must ask God to reveal His Will to us. In the silence of prayer we experience God’s personal love and we receive the strength to live in and do theWill of God. Be Aware and Listen – Do you normally limit your prayer to speaking to God? If so, you need to set aside time during and
after your prayer to listen. Trust Jesus. He said, “Seek and you will find, ask and you will receive, knock and the door will be opened.” Trust in the goodness of God. He will answer your prayers and you will discover that answer—one way or the other. Practicing silence in the presence of God is the key!
Decide to Act – The desire to live God’s Will is not the same as the decision to live in God’s Will. The former is a feeling; the latter is an act of human will and is rooted in His action already at work around us and in us. This is not always easy and it can sometimes be painful, but you can believe that God has only the good for you in His answer. We cannot always see very far down the road. We won’t always understand the specific purpose and end, beyond our own salvation, for our actions and decisions that God has in His Plan of Divine Providence for us. It is only ours to trust in the goodness of God and act. (portions taken from www.integratedcatholiclife.org.
Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, St. Michael, St. Paul and our Guardian Angels, may God grant that we live in His Divine
Will each day!
In Christ through Mary,