Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Josephine Bakhita Parish,
Many people experience moments which prove to be decisive turning points in their life. They reach cross-roads where they are confronted with challenging choices. They are forced to make an essential decision after which their life will never be the same again. In 2020, many folks were extremely challenged by the circumstances of the pandemic: economic, social, health, spiritual, etc. All of which, forced many to have to make hard decisions and life changes.
Jesus too knew such moments in his life. This weekend’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord shows us one of the most decisive of these, his baptism by John in the Jordan River. This was a turning point in his life. From that moment on his life would never be the same. He found himself and his real vocation. All his hidden qualities of care, mercy, love, hope, peace, and justice, which had been growing quietly like wheat in a field, now was shown and given full expression.
This feast day may invite us to look and evaluate our own baptism and its meaning and significance in our life. Is it a sacrament that calls us to a “turning point” in our lives? Is it merely a christening into a social group with few or no obligations? Or is it a commissioning for us to wholeheartedly participate in a new life in Christ and Church?
In truth, we are baptized for a cause and a way of life. Baptism commissions us to do the work of Jesus according to our capabilities. But first, we must see that, in baptism, we share in the life of God. In baptism we became disciples of Jesus. In baptism we fall in love with the One who loved us first and foremost. Talk about a turning point.
I invite you to look through the lens of your baptism and its depth of meaning and significance as we go about the challenging effects of 2020 and enter the New Year before us. When we are called Christian, it is a declaration of a relationship with Jesus and a calling; it is who we are and what we do in the name of Christ in the context of a living Church. A sign to the world that He is alive and well even in the direst of times. I pray that our New Year be filled with this renewed sense of baptism: a light to the world. Hope is alive!!
Fr. George Couturier