Consider this… ‘I am a Disciple’, by Baptism.
Before I jump into the topic of Baptism, I want to take a moment to thank so many people who have made our Christmas celebrations outstanding. Thank you to our Environment committee, Music Ministry, Ministers, Lectors, Altar Servers, those who coordinated and helped with our children’s liturgies, our children who participated and their families and all who have assisted and helped in many ways over the last few weeks. Our parish is blessed with such gifted and talented people who are willing to help.
A special thanks too, on behalf of Fr. Luke, Fr Ryan and myself for all of the numerous cards, baked goods, chocolates, goodies, gifts and specialties that have been shared with us. Thank you so much!
Since our theme this year for the parish is ‘I am a Disciple’, it is important for us to realize that baptism is the Sacrament that welcomes us into being that Disciple. This weekend we will recognize in a special way all of the families who have had a child baptized in the past year. It is important for us as a parish community to foster discipleship, which means we journey with families beyond the sacramental celebration itself. As we acknowledge again the baptisms we celebrated throughout the past year, we have to reacquaint ourselves with these families and let them know they are supported, loved and an essential part of our parish community.
As Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan river, the Holy Spirit descends, and a voice from heaven says, ‘You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.’ God is well pleased with his Son Jesus. Baptism extends that grace to us. God in the Trinity is well pleased with us. As we look around, do we extend that pleasure with others around us? If we see baptism as that sacrament that makes us a Disciple, then we have to be involved in making sure we do something as that Disciple. From the moment of Jesus’ baptism, we find Jesus praying, serving others, healing and doing the will of his Father. We are invited to do the same.
At St. Mary’s, we call ourselves a community of faith that welcomes all, and we try hard to witness to that. I have to say we need to continue to work on that. I can tell you that not all people feel welcome at St. Mary’s, and there are some in our pews who have joined us that have never been said hello to.
If baptism makes us a Disciple, this weekend we need to recommit to living like a Disciple and it begins by being well pleased with those around us. Say hello, acknowledge, encourage the Disciples around you.