The Baptism of the Lord
The Baptism of the Lord Homily Transcript
Robert Fulghum, a well-known author, attends many conferences and conventions ’cause he wants to learn. Learning is important for him. And at the end of any conference or convention, when the presenter is done speaking and says, are there any questions, Fulghum always raises his hand and says this. Can you tell me what the meaning of life is? Now, he says sometimes people react kind of funny. They laugh at him or jeer, or kind of give him that strange look, but he’s sincere. Can you tell me what is the meaning of life? He goes on to say, in one of his books, he was at a little conference down in the Island of Crete, and the presenter was a man by the name Alexander Papaderos. After two days of conferencing on peace and justice, Papaderos said, are there any questions? Fulgham raised his hands. Can you tell me what the meaning of life is? People kind of laughed and looked at him, but Papaderos said, I think I can. And he reached in his back pocket. He pulled out a wallet, and out of his wallet, he pulled out a piece of mirror about the size of a quarter. He said, for me, this is what the meaning of life is all about, and went on to explain. How when he was a little boy, he was walking the Island of Crete after the Nazis had left, and there was death and destruction. He came across a German motorcycle and the rear view mirror was shattered. He took a piece of the glass mirror, and as a little boy, he scraped it on the rock and brick, and he made into the size of a quarter. And as a little boy, what he learned was that he could hold that piece of mirror up to the light, and he could control the light. He could direct the light. He could bring the light to dark places. He said, for me, that’s what the meaning of life is all about. To bring light to others. To bring light to darkness. To bring light to those who are hurting in this world. He said, I’m not the light; Jesus is the light of the world. But my responsibility as a follower of the Christ is to bring light to others. When you were baptized, the baptismal candle was given to your godparents or grandparents or parents, and they were told this, receive the light of Christ. This light is entrusted you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours is to be enlightened by Christ. Always to walk as a child of the light. May they keep the flame of faith alive in their hearts until the good Lord comes. Our baptism says that we are the followers of the Christ. That we have been given the light of Christ to bring to others. To bring light to the dark moments in people’s lives. To be light bearers in this world of ours. As we reflect on the baptism of the Lord at the end of the Christmas season, we have a mission, and that is to carry the light of Christ to others. To proclaim the good news of the Gospel by what we say and by what we do. And to be declared, as God declares in the Gospel today, you are my beloved daughter. You are my beloved son. In whom I am well pleased.
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
A special thank you to our congregation from Immaculate Conception St. Joseph Parish School, Chicago and St. Irene’s Knights of Columbus, Warrenville.
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