Even though many trees and decorations in homes and around the city have already been dismantled for the past week, today in our Liturgical calendar is when the Church formally culminates the Christmas season. For today, with the Baptism of the Lord, we not only celebrate and proclaim through Matthew Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, but more importantly we mark the beginning of his public ministry. What begins with Christmas is what will continue through the teaching, preaching, feeding, and healing of Jesus’ mission: making known and manifesting the life-giving love of God. The word we used last week is the term that will characterize what Jesus’ life was all about: epiphany. Manifesting and making known God’s power to heal and give life is what Jesus lived and what we, through our own baptism, are called to do as well.
I wish we could say we orchestrated it this way but I know that is not true. Today, at Old St. Patrick’s, on this appropriate feast day of the Baptism of the Lord, is what we call Volunteer Sunday. Thanks to the great energy and coordination of Beth Marek, who directs all of our Outreach Efforts at Old St. Pat’s, today in our Church Hall there will all sorts of opportunities to get involved in the life of the Church. I am always being approached by new members to Old St Pat’s who ask the question: how can I get involved? Well, today is one opportunity to see the various missions Old St Pat’s either sponsors directly or you can learn about the many outreach efforts to which Old St. Pat’s has become a partner.
If the Baptism of the Lord marks the beginning of the Lord’s public ministry and his continued manifestation of God’s gracious love, then I think today we all may want to prayerfully consider what that means for us. It is more than just New Year’s resolutions. It is the resolution we make at the time of baptism to fully live the mysteries of God, or as Fr. Jack Wall has said: living from the inside out.
Thank you for being here today at Old St. Pat’s. Your presence is a true gift to us.
Peace to you,
Fr. Tom Hurley