The Baptism of the Lord
The Baptism of the Lord Homily Transcript
Our readings today allow us to hear from two prophets, first the prophet, Isaiah, who foretold the coming of Jesus, and then the prophet, John the Baptist, who walked before Jesus, never himself, as we heard in the gospel, never himself taking credit baptizing people for repentance, but always saying that there’s somebody mightier than he who is to come. Isaiah and John the Baptizer are these prophets who foretell the coming of Christ in a beautiful way.
I think of prophecy and I think of going out on a limb when I think of Cardinal Cupich these days because he’s calling us, in a very prophetic way, to a renewal, that we might grow deeper and deeper in our relationship with Jesus.
Last week, I talked about one of the imperatives of the renewal process, namely making disciples, and, two weeks ago, we talked about the imperative of building communities, that the renewal process demands that we ourselves grow as disciples and then share our discipleship with others, as well as building communities.
The third one I’d like to talk about today is inspiring witness. I don’t know about you, but every time I have the great joy of celebrating a baptism of a little child, I really am inspired by those parents and those godparents who bring their child for baptism. I’m inspired by their desire to name this child as a child of God, as a son or daughter of God and a sister or brother to Jesus. That inspires me every single time, and I try to share my inspiration and my pride for their journey when they bring a child for baptism, and just like happened at Jesus’ own baptism, we asked that the Holy Spirit be poured out upon this beautiful child through water and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but, further, we give this family a candle, a beautiful burning candle, praying that the light of Christ always shine brightly in the hearts and the soul of the child to be baptized, and then, further, the baby comes in a white garment and sometimes we give the child a white garment, as well, to signify their new life in Christ, as well as marking their head with sacred chrism, which changes them from just a little baby to now a son or daughter of God, a brother or sister to Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but every time I’m at a baptism or celebrate a baptism, I’m inspired by these children who are transformed in front of our eyes.
Take a look around you. What inspires you to be the most faithful disciple you can be? Who inspires you to be a faithful disciple of Jesus? Who do you see in your own life? Who do you see living out the faith that inspires you?
Then, the second question is, who do you inspire? We have this humble, this kind of humble stance towards life, and we don’t think that we inspire anybody, but let me tell you, you do. You inspire your neighbors. You inspire your coworkers. You inspire the people at church. You inspire others, as well, and that’s exactly what the Cardinal’s getting at when he invites us to remember that we are both inspired, both from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or a baptism and confirmation. We are literally inspired, filled with the Holy Spirit, inspired by others and their journey of faith, and we’re called to then share that inspiration with those around us.
Friends, renewal looks like something. The Cardinal invites us to really make sure that renewal looks like making disciples, being one and making others, building community and inspiring witness to the faith. May we renew not only ourselves, but also the church that needs renewal in this day and this age. May God continue to bless us on this renewing and inspiring vision.
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
A special thank you this week to our friends from St. Benedict Parish , Chicago and The Divine Mercy Crusade, Chicago in the congregation.
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