St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, January 10, 2021
The Baptism of the Lord
My Brothers and Sisters,
“You are my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:7-11).
The Feast of Christmas is not just one single religious event and then it is over. No. It is a feast that stretches over eight days called “The Christmas Octave” because there are other events worth celebrating within the period of the main event touching its religion, historical, or cultural connections.
We remember that a few days after Christmas, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Being God made Man, Jesus had to belong to a family like every one of us. After His birth, He was taken to the temple in Jerusalem where He was consecrated to the Lord as was customary for every Jewish child that opened the womb. The parents would present, on this occasion an offering, as required by law, of a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.
On the eighth day of His birth, which usually falls on New Year’s Day, the Church celebrated the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the circumcision of Jesus according to law and naming Him Jesus, the name given Him by the Angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Last Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany, an event where Jesus revealed Himself both to Jews and Gentiles, indeed, to the whole world that He is the Savior of all nations represented by the visit of the
Magi from the East led by the star to do Him homage. They brought with them three symbolic gifts: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
Today is the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. On this occasion, the Holy Trinity was present: God the Father, the Son that received baptism, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. The voice was heard from the heavens saying, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” All of these holy occasions and celebrations help to lift our soul and body to appreciate God and the heavenly mysteries that go to increase our faith. That Jesus submitted Himself to baptism does not mean He had any sin requiring baptism, but to demonstrate to us the necessity of baptism. He taught: “Unless you believe and are baptized, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” This remains His teaching and the practice of the Church until this day.