May You Be Jesus' Hands and Heart!

May You Be Jesus' Hands and Heart!

By Sister Mary Core, OSB

This year, the Church celebrates the Baptism of Our Lord on Sunday Jan. 13, ending the season of Christmas. 

For many years the Baptism was celebrated on the Feast of the Epiphany as one of 3 epiphanies: The Visit of the Magi, The Baptism of Jesus and The Wedding Feast at Cana.  

These epiphanies - or “insights, intuitive understandings, or manifestations” - make clearer who this Jesus is:

* Through the Magi we realize Jesus as Savior for all peoples and nations.  

* Through his Baptism we become aware that Jesus is Son of God and Second Person of our Trinitarian God.  

* At the Wedding at Cana, where Jesus works his first miracle, we see his miraculous power as Savior and Son of God.  

Today the 3 epiphanies are each given their own day of celebration. 

This allows us to focus more fully on the importance of each occasion, and appreciate Jesus as Universal God and Savior, who walks among us as teacher, healer and miracle worker.

At his baptism, Jesus descends into the Jordan River, not because he needs Baptism or cleansing of sin, but rather to make holy its waters for each of us.  

Jesus is proclaimed "Beloved Son" of God; at our baptism, we, too, are proclaimed children of God. At Jesus’ baptism, the heavens are opened; at our baptism, heaven opens for us.

After his Baptism, Jesus goes into the desert as preparation for his years of ministry.  

Most of us don’t remember our baptism, but most assuredly we were given the grace we needed (and still need) to go forth and be ministers and witnesses of our faith and trust in God, through Jesus. 

As we end this Christmastide and enter Ordinary Time, may your days be anything but ordinary.

May you be Jesus' hands and heart.  

May your epiphanies be many and your baptism grace you abundantly!

Sister Catherine Cleary says Baptism is NOT - despite what we may have learned - for the forgiveness of sin!

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