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Monday, January 21, 2019
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From Sister's Desk

 

Sister Maria Inviolata is a member of the Sisters of Our Mother of Divine Grace. Assigned by Bishop Joseph Cistone, DD as the Pastoral Administrator of Ave Maria Parish, she resides with her community in Port Sanilac, at St. Mary's convent. Check back weekly for updates and current happenings at our Parish.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Dear Parish Family,

Baptism of JesusToday’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the final celebration of the Christmas season. Tomorrow, we begin “Ordinary Time” once again. Today’s feast of Jesus’ baptism is a perfect time to highlight how God is so abundant with his merciful and saving love. The baptism of Jesus is strange, on the surface, John the Baptist was preaching a “baptism of repentance,”’ Calling the people of Israel to repent of their sins, and prepare for the Messiah, Jesus, free of sin, himself the Promised One, had no need of repentance. And in the other gospel accounts of this baptism, we hear John’s objections. But Jesus comes to the waters of the Jordan. He is in perfect solidarity with sinful humankind. In the words of St. Paul, “He who knew no sin became sin for our sake.” At this moment, where Jesus publicly stands in solidarity with sinners, God reveals himself as the Holy Trinity. The voice of the Father is heard: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” The Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus “in bodily form like a dove.” This revelation of the Trinity helps show us God’s way of acting in our world: (1) God is One, always acting together; (2) The three Persons are distinct in their relation to one another; God is One, fundamentally, yet the three Persons reveal how God is a communion of love. To keep going deeper for just a moment...this great mystery of the Trinity can be put next to the great mystery of our very existence, God didn’t need us to “complete” anything, yet, this dynamic relationship of love—the Trinity itself—created us to share in his abundant love. And when we failed to love him in return—when we chose sin instead of obedience—God chose to offer us salvation through the perfect offering of the Son. Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice is infinitely more powerful than our disobedience and selfishness. This is the core of our faith. The plan for our salvation is that through faith in Jesus Christ, being made a new creation through baptism, and incorporation into his Church, we are then temples of the Holy Spirit, and adopted children of God. Throughout our lives, God wants to continue to pour out his love, and his presence, into our lives. This is grace. Grace is God’s very life, his powerful, transformative presence that re-creates us in his image. Grace is what the Church wants us to receive abundantly in this new year. Even though God ha given us everything, this world is still messy and difficult. Jesus’ baptism shows how God comes to where we are. Knowing that we need ongoing strength and help. God continues to come where we are. The Sacraments are the first, privileged way God comes to us. Then, there are many additional avenues of his grace—-including his Word, and the gifts of his Church. The mission we now have is receive what God offers, so generously. We must be aware of the gift, then open and willing to receive the gift, and then, furthermore, ready to share the gift. The gift is God himself. As we head into “Ordinary Time,” resolve that this year we won’t miss the “extraordinary” opportunities being offered. Now is the time, now is the season, for going deeper: deeper in our knowledge and love of God, deeper in our commitment to living and sharing all that He offers. (hprweb.com)

God bless you,

Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG

 

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