THROBBING HEARTS: Baptism & Vocation
Epiphany & Baptism of the Lord
January 12, 2017 RCIA Session
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
"Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow..." cf. Isaiah 60:16
"They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. " cf Matthew 2:1-12
"Today let us do honor to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men and women, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all humanity, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received – though not in its fullness – a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen." -St. Gregory of Nazianzus
- Last week in RCIA the focus was on Epiphany and on the Sacrament of Marriage. It is in the very "ordinary" and daily way that we live, but with a love for others that is far beyond ordinary, that we give witness to the presence of God in this world. Our vocation is to allow God to work in and through us to bring all people to Himself. In all the age groups of RCIA we looked at how we can live in family in such a way as to make this great love present in the world.
- This week in RCIA the focus is on the Epiphany, the Baptism of Jesus and our own baptism. With our baptism comes a call for us to die with Christ so that we may live in a new way -- the way of Divine Love which we talked about last week when we noted that Divine Love is at the HEART of family life. The coming of the Spirit upon us is not for us alone; we are baptized in Christ and so share now in his mission of bringing all people to God.
PRACTICE: a Faith Conversation and House Blessing
- As Lent approaches we begin to prepare to discern our "readiness" for the sacraments. No matter your age, two questions stand out as important questions to begin asking of yourself now:
- Do I feel attracted to life in Jesus? Do I want to be like Him, follow Him? Would I like a relationship with God?
- Am I growing in the discipline it requires to follow Jesus, especially the discipline of Sunday Mass, daily prayer, forgiveness and a love for others that is becoming more sacrificial, more outreaching?
- Reflect daily on these questions and sometime this week have a conversation with your Sponsor, your spouse and children, or anyone else from whom you can receive guidance or share your growing faith/your doubts.
- Bless your home on the Feast of Epiphany. Here is a traditional Epiphany house blessing you can use along with an explanation.
For those who enjoy deeper reading, check our these beautiful and ancient sermons regarding the Feast of the Epiphany and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Both are taken from the Liturgy of the Hours Office of Readings.
When have I felt the presence of God very near to me in my life -- in times good or difficult? What difference did God's presence make? Have I been the same since -- in what ways am I the same, and in what ways am I different?
In Baptism God calls me by name and my life is joined to God. God never abandons me. Can I believe this? How do I feel about this? Does my heart "throb and overflow" that God should care for me? Can I respond by inviting God into my life, knowing that God is ever so polite and waiting for my invitation?
How do I invite God into my life? What do I think will happen if I do?
Who do I know that needs the love of God right now?