Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

The Feast of the Baptism this Sunday is the final note of our beautiful Christmas Season. Today we celebrate the day when Jesus began His public ministry by presenting Himself to John for Baptism in the Jordan River. It was on that occasion that a dove descended upon Him and He heard the voice from Heaven, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” His true identity was thus revealed and others began to follow Him, absorb His teachings and would later take these teachings to all peoples far and wide.

This liturgical celebration gives us an opportunity to reflect on our own Baptism. It was then that we were given the mission to spread to all men and women the astonishing truths that God has come in the flesh in the tiny village of Bethlehem, Jesus took all our sins on His own shoulders, died and rose again, and is now interceding for each of us at the right hand of the Father.

One way of exercising this ministry entrusted to us at Baptism is to support and encourage vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  We could each invite a young man or woman to consider if the Lord is inviting them to His service. Very often a personal suggestion is the catalyst which starts a young person on a path of serious discernment about the Lord’s plan for their life.

Some people are able to help those who are prevented from entering a seminary or novitiate by a student loan. This can be done through the Laboure Society or the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations, either of which can be found on the web. And we can all pray for vocations, that the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into his field.

National Vocations Awareness Week
January 13-19, 2013
Prayer for Vocations
Father, we are your people, the work of your hands. So precious are we in your sight that you sent your Son, Jesus. 
Jesus calls us to heal the broken-hearted, to dry the tears of those who mourn, to give hope to those who despair, and to rejoice in your steadfast love.

We, the baptized, realize our call to serve. Help us to know how. 

Call forth from among us priests, sisters, brothers and lay ministers. With our hearts you continue to love your people. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

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