Today we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. With the celebration of this feast, our Christmas season comes to a close. I want to take this opportunity to re-echo my words of gratitude to all of you who made our Christmas liturgies so beautiful and uplifting. In a very special way, I want to thank the teams of people who decorated our three beautiful churches for Christmas. As I have said on many different occasions, we are blessed to have not one, not two, but three very beautiful churches that make up this wonderful parish community. From the bottom of my heart I thank each and every single one of you!
As is the custom in Rome, the Pope uses this celebration of the Baptism of the Lord to baptize infants in the Sistine Chapel. Each year as I watch the Holy Father baptize these infants, I am struck by the awe of the parents and godparents gathered around the baptismal font to witness their child become a new creation in Christ. Parents and godparents are called to be teachers of the faith as they hand on the faith to their child.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his last Baptism of the Lord homily before he retired, spoke of the importance of prayer with the newly baptized. He said, “It is very important for you parents, and also for the godparents, to believe strongly in the presence and in the action of the Holy Spirit, to invoke him and to welcome him within you, through prayer and through the sacraments. It is he, in fact, who illumines the mind and warms the heart of the educator so that he or she can pass on the knowledge and love of Jesus. Prayer is the first condition for teaching because by praying we prepare ourselves to leave the initiative to God, to entrust children to him, who knows them before and better than we, and who knows perfectly what their true good is. And at the same time, when we pray we listen to God’s inspiration in order to do our part well, which in any case is our duty and which we are bound to do. The sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Penance, enable us to carry out our educational action in union with Christ, in communion with him and continuously renewed by his forgiveness. Prayer and the sacraments obtain for us that light of truth thanks to which we are able to be at once tender and strong, gentle and firm, silent and communicative at the right time, admonishing and correcting in the right way”. As we conclude the Christmas season today, let us continue to thank God for the many gifts that he has bestowed upon us. We pray that this New Year will bring us God’s peace and blessings as we strive to grow closer to the heart of Christ his Son and our Savior.
Dr. Martin Luther King Diocesan Prayer Service
Once again this year our parish will host the Diocesan celebration commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There will be a special prayer service held on Monday, January 20 beginning at 12 Noon at Our Lady of Victory Church. The preacher for the prayer service will be Father Robert Boxie who is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington DC. Father Boxie is a gifted speaker and a talented priest. Please be sure to join us as we celebrate the birthday of this great civil rights leader.
Have a great week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox