Dear Friends in Christ,
Saint John Paul II introduced in the year 2000 the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, which deal with events during the public ministry of Christ. Today, as we conclude the liturgical season of Christmas, in which we mediate upon the mysteries associated with the Joyful Mysteries, we ponder what John Paul laid down as the first Luminous Mystery: the Baptism of the Lord.
Having been to the Jordan River, I can attest to what a desolate place it is. It is literally a river running through a desert, in the space between Israel and Jordan. Here we catch a glimpse of the salvation which Christ’s birth brings to us: it is eternal refreshment. Without water, we would not be able to survive for more than a few hours. In just the same way, without Baptism, we are unable to come to God the Father through Christ his Son. John’s baptism was not the same thing as our Sacrament of Baptism, but it does prefigure it. Jesus came to baptize us with the Holy Spirt and with fire, equipping us to participate in his work of redemption. May the joy of Christmas remain in our hearts throughout the year as we go forth like Christ amid the deserts of our world.
Baptism prepares the way to meet Christ in the Eucharist. In preparation for our annual Forty Hours Eucharistic Devotion (January 23rd – January 25th), I am enclosing a short explanation about this great tradition in our bulletin today. Please sign up for an adoration slot on the posterboards in church or via Flocknote: https://sfds.flocknote.com/signup/75045.
May God be Blessed!
-Father Eric Banecker
P.S. By the time you read this, the scaffolding along the Springfield Ave. entrance to our church will probably have been repaired. This is an important safety measure. I will have more details on capital projects past, present, and future in the coming weeks.