Baptism of Jesus – January 11, 2014
Co-presiders Bridget Mary Meehan and Sally Brochu
God's words to Jesus describes an awesome, mysterious encounter that draws us into the depth of who we are in relationship to God...
"This is my Own, my Beloved on whom my favor rests." We are the beloved of God... Take a few deep breaths and ponder what this means in your life now to be the beloved of God and what it means in your ministry, your call to serve God in our church and world..... (Mindy plays background music)
1.Baptism is about original blessing, not original sin as Matt Fox reminds us.
Church no longer teaches that Adam and Eve story is fact based. It is a story to illustrate a theological truth, so evolution is approved teaching.
2. Catholic vs. Calvinist view Sacramental view grace builds on nature, redeems us only from sinfulness, not from who we are because we are God's beloved children, vs. Calvinist view humanity was seen as sinful and fallen and God saves human beings in spite of themselves.
3. What does a Catholic sacramental view mean? As Jamie Manson, points out : "There are no limits in the ways in which God can be made present in the lives of God's beloved people." Catholics now have come to understand that sacramental power rests "in all of those who see Jesus, the sacrament of God in the table of the world around them. And the more they feel deprived by the Church, the more they are becoming Eucharist for one another." (Jamie Manson, "Why Stay Catholic"
Bridget Mary Meehan, www.arcwp.org, www.marymotherofjesus.org
Let me add a few words to Bridget Mary’s reflection on Baptism.
In this week’s edition of NCR (National Catholic Reporter) there is an interview by Bill Maher of Bishop Morrie of
Bill Maher is a comedian and an atheist and Bishop Morrie was his classmate. Paris, Kansas
There is one point in the interview that is worth focusing on. Bishop Morrie commented on original sin in answer to Bill’s comment “Well, didn’t God kick Adam and Eve out of
Morrie responded: “That’s what they told
themselves; it’s what we tell ourselves. When Adam and Eve covered them selves
and hid from God, God asked them ‘Who told you were naked?’ Original sin is a sad, mad idea that we’ve
separated ourselves from our source and from each other, and we pass that
wretched idea from generation to generation
(emphasis mine). It’s the story of the human race, Bill. We’ve forgotten
who and where we really are. God is not a man on a cloud looking to throw
lightning bolts! Religion, at best, teaches us that we are literally in love,
and that nothing can separate us from that love. When you realize that, Bill,
fear disappears, and we begin to know peace.”
Powerful words! Can we take these words into our hearts and really believe them?
Some say that original sin is a way of describing evil in our world. But to go so far as to say that we are separated from God at any given time because of our sinfulness, doesn’t recognize the God who loves unconditionally. When we feel separated from God because of our choices, it’s good to ask “Who moved”? – It isn’t God who moved!
So Baptism is much more. It is about original blessing, not original sin. It is about belonging to a community of believers who accepts a call to service – to our church, our world. It is a call to love as God loves. It is also a reminder by God, just as God said to Jesus at his Baptism “This is (you) my beloved child”.
Let us move to our shared homily with these questions -
What does your Baptism mean to you today?
What difference does the sacramental view make?