Monday, January 4, 2010

Announcements: Baptism of the Lord

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Rosary: Next rosary will be prayed after Mass February 7, 2010. We will pray for all of our benefactors who have contributed to our heating fuel fund. All are welcome to join us.

Confirmation: Letters to the Archbishop need to be completed by the end of January 2010. The Archbishop requests that all those wanting to be confirmed, Teens and Adults alike, should write a letter stating why you want to be confirmed into our Catholic faith.

Christmas decorations: We will be taking down the Christmas decorations after Mass this weekend. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Gospel: Baptism is an elaborate sacrament. It is make us realize how pleasing we are in God's eyes. It is about being sure that we recognize our dignity. Here is a homily I put together for our Mass this coming weekend:

Baptism of the Lord, Year C, 2010, DLG, Isaiah 40: 1-5&9-11; Timothy 2: 11-14 & 3:4-7; Luke 3:15-16&21-22

The Sacraments are set up so they increasingly get tougher to receive. For example, baptism has a very low bar. It is easy to jump over. The rest of the sacraments get progressively harder to receive. In other words the bar is a little higher.

The most difficult question one has to answer when baptizing an infant is this, “You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him or her in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him or her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?

The great thing about baptism is that it is the most ecumenical sacrament we have. In other words, if another Christian wants to become Catholic, like a Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc., and they are already baptized, they do not have to become re-baptized.

Generally speaking, the sacrament of baptism unites almost all the worlds Christians in Christ Jesus.

The Catholic rite of baptism underlines the dignity of the adult or child being initiated into the life of Christ. Here is how that dignity is underlined.

When baptizing an infant, the parents are asked what name the child is given. There is a meaning for every name. The name is often a revelation as to the child’s personality.

The parents and sponsors understand their responsibilities in preparing the child in the faith and are prepared to be Christian role models for that child.

The baptism is done at the back of the church. We do this because it signifies entering the church and becoming a member. Baptism is the first formal time that we receive a child into the place where the church gathers.

We invoke the saints for the child. We remember that the child has patron saints who are praying with all of us right now in heaven, and we call on them by name.

We ask that all evil be kept from the child. As we anoint the child’s breastbone, we ask that the child’s heart be united in love for God, self, and neighbor. W bless the font, profess our common faith, and then immerse the child into the life-giving and saving bath of baptism.

The white vestment a newly child wears is a physical reminder that they have just put on the life of Christ.

The child is anointed with the churches most holiest of oil and are welcomed into the royal family of Christ, the school of prophets, and the priesthood of all believers.

The parents/sponsors are presented with the light of Christ. We ask that the child’s ears will hear the word of God and that their mouth will proclaim it.

Baptism is elaborate because it helps you to realize that you are loved by God, that your true identity is in God, and that you are pleasing to God. Baptism reminds us of our dignity. This is dignity!

Who would like this $20 bill? He proceeded to crumple the bill up, he then asked, who still wants it? Still the hands were up in the air. He dropped it on the ground, and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. Now, who wants it? My friends, you have learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it, because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel that we are worthless, but, no matter what has happened or will happen, you will never lose your value (dignity), dirty or clean, crumpled of finely creased, you are still priceless to God and those who love you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know but by who we are. You are special. Don’t ever forget it (678 Words).

Here are the readings for the "Baptism of the Lord" Sunday Mass.

Isaiah 40: 1-5&9-11 - Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

Timothy 2: 11-14 & 3:4-7 - A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God? He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil's punishment. He must also have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, the devil's trap.

Luke 3:15-16&21-22 - Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Have a fantastic week...Fr. Scott

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