YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
HOMILY THEME: CELEBRATING OUR MEMORIAL DAY
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: ISAIAH 42:1-4.6-7, PSALM 29, ACTS 10:34-38, MATTHEW 3:13-17
Beloved friends in Christ we celebrate today our memorial or feast day as Christians. At our various baptisms, we were bestowed with an identity, given an indelible mark, made sons and daughters of God hence heirs of Heaven. On this memorable day when we recall Jesus’ baptism, we pray that he rekindles the light we were given at our baptisms and set us on course to heaven, amen.
Dear friends in the Lord, Jesus’ baptism was part of his epiphany, when he comes out of obscurity into the spotlight courtesy of God’s voice that proclaimed him the beloved Son, the one in whom he is well pleased (Matt. 3:17). His baptism was like a commissioning for the mission he was to commence, the mission to save man. The chosen servant of God as endowed by God with his spirit came to bring justice to the nations (Isa. 42:1), but he needed to align himself with those he came to save. It was Jesus’ way of being in solidarity with sinful man. He who said in John 10:11 that he is the good shepherd sought to feel the ordour of his sheep and feeling their plight, embark on his saving mission.
Moreover, by his baptism, Jesus sanctified all waters of Baptism, making us sinless whenever we receive baptism. HE BECAME LIKE US SO THAT WE CAN BE LIKE HIM, hence his baptism is highly significant to us all. He was endowed by God with the Holy Spirit to guide him through his ministry; we too receive the Spirit of God at our various baptisms so that we may journey safely on the path of salvation. According to Pope Pius XII, “IN BAPTISM WE DON’T MERELY BELONG TO THE CHURCH, WE BECOME THE CHURCH”, we become ministers of salvation to the unbelieving world. At baptism, we are given a mission. Our state, condition, statutes etc, in life may change but the mission we receive at baptism to be representatives of Christ in the world will always endure. HOW WELL HAVE REPRESENTED CHRIST IN THE WORLD THUS FAR?
Today, my dear friends, we recall Christ’s baptism which prepared him for his mission. We recall his humility and solidarity with mortal man. However and importantly too, WE RECALL OUR BAPTISM; that moment that changed our lives eternally turning us to: children of God, heirs of the kingdom, and members of the Church. Baptism makes us worthy to receive other sacraments and washes us of personal sins and original sin. We remember how we were variously called and commissioned to work for God. If I may ask, are we still at our work, have we left our Christian calls for something else?
The call we answered at baptism is very much alive, INDELIBLE, IRREVOCABLE, INERASABLE AND IRREVERSIBLE. Before God, that call remains the deepest truth of our lives. May I therefore, charge us to reactivate our dormant baptismal mission, become as proactive as Christ was with his God-given mission so that we too may merit being God’s beloved children. May I also challenge those who are yet to be baptized to make conscious efforts towards the reception of this sacrament. May I equally ask that we dust our baptismal certificates, the visible signs of our identities, have them duly signed and kept safe too. May God help us to faithfully adhere to our baptismal commitments even as we prepare for eternity…
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE