Dear Parishioners and Visitors,
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord brings to an end the Christmas season. But you might wonder though what does the Baptism of the Lord have to do with Christmas. How do they fit together? Jesus at the moment of the baptism by John the Baptist was no longer the sweet child of Bethlehem or the baby worshiped and gifted by the Magi. On this occasion we encounter Jesus as an adult, a man in the fullness of his life. How are all these celebrations connected?
In order to understand this, we have to deepen our understanding of Christmas to a more theological vision. What is Christmas all about? It is about the public manifestation of the Incarnation. The eternal Word, the second person of the Holy Trinity, through whom all came to be, broke the infinite barrier between God and creation and became human like us. God is now with us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. God has inserted himself into the heart of human history to save and redeem fallen humankind. The cycle of sin and death begun by our first parents is broken forever with a firm promise o1 forgiveness and resurrection.
These three events by heavenly manifestation confirming the truth of the Incarnation tell us that God was pleased with these three occasions. The shepherds around Bethlehem were the first to receive the good news. ”Do not be afraid. Listen I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by all people, Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” At the feast of the Epiphany we encounter the Magi who have come from far away because God's news has been manifested to them. ” Where is the infant king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.” And the revelation is completed at the moment of the baptism: ”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 whom I am well pleased”’.
Simply put, all three celebrations: Christmas, Epiphany, and the Baptism of the Lord are tied together with one theme and enable us to better contemplate and understand the deep meaning or the Incarnation. ”God loved as so much that he sent his only begotten son to save us.”
—Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P.