WHAT COMES NEXT?
What a glorious gift this Christmas season has been. From the music to the Scripture to the gathering so much in the Church and the abundance of giving, we have seen the Father’s love in sending His only begotten Son, Jesus! Now we come to this last moment of Christmas, the Baptism of the Lord. This is all that we have been waiting for…not just visiting the Manger, but being sent forth to what comes next…Baptism! What does all this have to do with Christmas? St. Ambrose of Milan says this final gift of Christmastide is given to us because, “The Lord was Baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism.” And we are to follow! “Just as a man cannot live in the flesh unless he is born in the flesh, even so a man cannot have the spiritual life of grace unless he is born again spiritually,” so St. Augustine reminds us. And St. Maximillian Kolbe rejoiced in Jesus’ gift of Baptism because he knew “The soul is regenerated in the sacred waters of Baptism and thus becomes God’s child.” If you do not know or celebrate your day of salvation, your anniversary of your Baptism, why not find out and make this new year the year you make an awesome renewal of who you are called to be? (Mine is September 30th) Last week, we began our Catholics Returning Home sessions. So why not help someone who has turned away or faded away from the faith, return to the promise of their Baptism by coming during these next five Thursdays (7:15 p.m. in our Upper Room)? Just like the fact that you can’t stay staring in the Manger, we cannot just be Baptized and not live it out faithfully. Make a return to the Sacramental life!
January 26th begins our annual Catholic Schools Week. You are welcome to celebrate with us all week long, or join us after the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Masses for an Open House and doughnuts. Speaking of the school, if you can help out in any way through donations of items that might be auctioned off or raffled or in support through advertising or participating at the festivities, mark your calendar for Saturday, February 22nd at 6:00 p.m. for our annual Night of Giving to help support our parish school. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year to help us provide for the needs of our school. Your help is needed. Any questions, please call the school office. Have a beautiful week. Pax, Fr. Bline.