BAPTISM OF THE LORD B
I can never miss greeting my friend Ate Emz every year. It is not easy to forget her special day because she was born on Christmas day!
I told her one day that because she shares the same birthday with Jesus, he made her just like him. For truly, my friend is full of genuine love for God, kindness to all people she meets, and a sense of sacrificial and self-giving love for her family and friends.
My observation was further strengthened when I spoke to her family driver one day. The driver volunteered his experiences with his boss. He said this was a person whose goodness he felt every day. He testified that she was indeed always looking for a chance to serve and love others. And when your family driver speaks glowingly about you, what better tribute can you ask for?
What is the secret of Emz? What is the reason for her innate goodness? Well, being born on Christmas, I think, is just a secondary coincidence. I believe that more than this, she is someone serious enough to be faithful to her baptismal commitment. Day by day, she only wants to live her faith in Christ.
The feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a reminder that Jesus desired baptism to show how closely he identified with all of us weak and imperfect human beings. Our God was not ashamed to be called our brother and our friend.
Our own baptism is a reminder that we respond positively to this great love. Many of us do not recall the event of our baptism because we had it as infants. But growing up, we realize that its meaning is to live for God, with God and in God.
Our God offered us intimacy. He offered us his friendship. It is now up to us to receive this invitation and to grow in his love. In desiring to reciprocate his divine love we too, must not be ashamed to imitate the way of Jesus and deepen our bond with him.
This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the first baptism on Philippine soil. Natives accepted baptism after Ferdinand Magellan explained to them its meaning. However when Magellan’s group retreated, the natives had no missionary to guide them and they went back to their old pagan ways.
Today, we have the blessing of being surrounded by people, groups or institutions that remind us constantly that we are baptized Christians. May we not behave as if we do not know the Lord or that we are enemies of his cross. Instead may we be fully aware that we are images of Jesus to our neighbors in what we do and say. As baptized Christians, let us not be ashamed to simply live like Jesus!
Pls share with a friend… photo above, thanks to the internet!