A Word From Our Pastor

God made the cycles of nature not only for the beauty it provides us, but also to teach us lessons about faith and good living as well. For example, the cycle of rain to earth to sun to sky to clouds back to rain is something we learned about in science class. How wonderful is the rain to provide water for the streams and rivers, which finds its way to fill the ocean. Water also nourishes every creature and seedling along its path. Then the sun takes over by illuminating and warming the ocean, transforming its clear blue water into mist. The mist rises back to the sky and becomes a cloud.  And then when full the cloud bursts open and more raindrops fall upon the earth. The ancients believed that this cycle of life-giving water moving from heaven to earth and then back to heaven, represents our spiritual journey on earth. They believed that we are like the raindrops, made from the same “holy stuff” which we call water.  Water is life as our first home is in the womb of our mother. Water comes from our “father sky” who we call God: and then like the water, we journey back to Him after we are nurtured and nourished. In our Catholic faith, we describe this cyclical process as baptism. It is a powerful sacrament we receive through which we enter the church, enrich our lives, and then return back to God our original source. But now even more nourished and strengthened, more beautiful and fulfilled! This dynamic process of baptism, of receiving the life giving waters of holiness, was important for Jesus as well. In today’s Gospel we hear of John baptizing Jesus in the river Jordan.  When you stop to think of it, here is Jesus who is the God-man receiving this very same sacrament that we receive too.  Wow!!  It has to be that important, that special.  Why is this so? Just go back to today’s Gospel from St. Luke. After Jesus gets baptized, the heavens opened as the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus.  And a voice from heaven said: “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.” There it is; the reason baptism is so important.  Because it makes us God’s child. God has a lot of joy in telling us over and over again: “You are my beloved child.” Let us never doubt how special we are to God.  And the next time it rains, just think of what the ancients said about us: we are like the raindrops; made of “holy stuff!”                     ~ Fr. John



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