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Jesus and Joseph

Dear Friends in Christ:

Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Each year I see this Feast as an opportunity to think about what baptism means in our lives, and specifically how am I living out my own baptism. Today we celebrate the moment when Jesus went down to the Jordan River and asked John the Baptist to baptize Him. The One who did not need to be saved from sin, identified as God’s beloved Son, chose to be baptized, as He says to John, “to fulfill all righteousness.” In being baptized, Jesus demonstrates His commitment to the Father’s Will. In response, God revealed through the voice from heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit that this was the Messiah, the Anointed One, His beloved Son with whom He is well pleased.

From the moment of His baptism, Jesus is sent to perform His ministry of preaching the Kingdom of God. We begin what is often referred to as His public ministry. If you think about it, our baptism was a public beginning as well. We were brought to the church by our families, our life in Christ was begun, and we began to live as sons and daughters of God seeking to bring His light and His love into the lives of others.

I ask this EVERY YEAR…Do you actually know the date and place of your baptism? I think it is safe to say only a handful of us have that information in our heads. Sadly we do not celebrate our baptism date as we do our birthday date and, yet, it is the day we became a son or daughter of God and received the promise of eternal union with God! Given all that this date means in terms of our eternal life and status as (adopted) children of God, wouldn’t we want to celebrate it with great joy?

So, if you do not know your date of baptism, I encourage you to find it out, and to celebrate it with great joy for it marks the anniversary of your becoming a child of God.

Did you know Pope Francis proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph?” With all that was going on in December it may be that, we missed this announcement. Back on December 8, 2020, in his Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalled the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark this significant occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021.