On Sunday, January 13th, we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord. Deacon Rick Stachura shared his thoughts below on the meaning of Baptism that day in his homily.
“Jesus was perfect in all ways and yet He decided to be baptized by John the Baptist as a witness to what we as Christians need to do to become a disciple of God.”
“Baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation that starts us on our spiritual journey of developing a relationship with God, Our Father.” We are obligated to continually developing that relationship with Him throughout our life.
“By virtue of our baptism, we are given a threefold mission of being a Priest, Prophet and King. As a Priest, we are called to prayer to participate in the mass, not just attend, to also lead others to Christ and to strengthen our relationship with him. As a Prophet, we are called to proclaim the good news to our families, our communities, our workplaces and our country. As a King, we are asked to lookout for those less fortunate, to be good stewards of our natural resources and environment, and to use our time, talents and treasures for the good of the Church and community.”
“Catholic discipleship refers to a committed approach to living a Christian life within the Catholic Church.The term disciple is generally applied to those Catholics who sincerely attempt to live according to the instructions provided by Jesus in the New Testament. The U.S. Catholic bishops have described disciples as those who ‘ make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in actions, to be followers of Jesus Christ no matter the cost to themselves.”‘
So, how are you developing your relationship with God to become His disciple?
One way is to develop holiness. St. Paul told the Thessalonians,
” This is the will of God, that you be holy.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3
“One way to achieve Holiness is through ‘Holy Moments’. Matthew Kelly offers a host of examples in his book: The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity. ”
Here’s a few of his examples:
- Begin each day with a short prayer of gratitude thanking God for giving you another day of life.
- Go out of your way to do something nice for your spouse or partner that you would rather not do, as an intentional act of love.
- Offer the least enjoyable task of your day to the Lord as a prayer for someone who is suffering.
- Control your temper, even if justified in losing it.
- Encourage someone, coach someone, praise someone, affirm someone.
- Be patient with the person who drives you crazy.
- Do someones else’s chores.
- Teach someone how to pray.
- Make healthy eating choices.
- Get honest with yourself about your self-destructive habits
“Baptism, is so much more than the actions of pouring water over someones head and pronouncing a few words. It initiates us into a new life in Christ. It re-establishes a right relationship with God. It makes us children of God, heirs to eternal life. It challenges us to be Priest, Prophet and King. It challenges us to live as His disciple.”
“Take some time to think about your baptism and what it really means to you. Take an inventory of your spiritual life and ask if you are committed to being a disciple of God? And if you need to make some changes, then make a commitment to work on those one at a time this year. Look for opportunities to create at least one HOLY MOMENT in each day and you will begin your journey to achieving holiness as a disciple of Christ.”
“May the graces of our Father bring us closer to Him through the Holy Moments in our lives. Amen.”