Homily for January 11, 2015: Baptism of the Lord: Msgr. James Miller

The Baptism of the Lord

January 11, 2015


Reading 1 Is 55:1-11

Responsorial Psalm Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Reading 2 1 Jn 5:1-9

Gospel Mk 1:7-11


The scripture scholar Fr. Raymond Brown was fond of saying that the day a person is baptized is more important than the day when a person is ordained priest or bishop. I would add that it is more important than your wedding anniversary too!   We should all do more to celebrate the date of our baptism; maybe by joining with some faith filled friends for a time of prayer and sharing of our relationship to God.

In a time when we see people shout out they are number one, the champion, the best, we see John the Baptist proclaim there is one coming after him that he is not even worthy to loosen the straps on his sandals.   John has been baptizing with water, a baptism of repentance for sin and Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit.  

When John reluctantly baptized Jesus with water “he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.  And a voice came from the heavens, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’”.  I like to think of the Holy Spirit coming into those I baptize and God saying I am pleased with each baptism.

The second reading reminds us that to say we love God means that we keep his commandments.  “In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments.”

St. John also writes, “And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.  Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   When we believe that Jesus is the Son of God then we have nothing to fear.   Jesus is the victor over the world.   Jesus is the Word of God.  The more we read and study the Bible the more we can know and understand Jesus.

The first reading from Isaiah reminds us that “just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making if fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and breath to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.”

God has a plan for each of us and gives us a lifetime to accomplish it.   Sometimes we may be doing what God wants without us even being aware that it is the Will of God!!  Live your baptism and you will be living a life of love for others.  We are to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.   If we are to do this then we must know and correctly understand who Jesus is in order to have an authentic relationship with him.

I invite you to renew your baptismal promises at this time.   Your response is, I do, and I hope you convince me that you mean it.

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?

Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?

Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit , the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

This is our faith.  This is the faith of the Church.  We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.