This weekend we the celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Just as fast as Christmas came, here we are, with the Christmas season coming to a close. In the midst of everything we are going through together, it is an opportunity for us to pause, to reflect on how different this season has once again been for us, but also to reflect on what the season is truly about – God, taking on our human flesh; Immanuel – God with us. This is what we need to remind ourselves. Whether we are in our dwellings alone, whether we are caring for a loved one, whether we are separated from those that we love for various reasons, and the list goes on for each of us, the Christmas message is one that is to remain with us all year long. In good times, and in the times when we are tested, facing challenges, or just tired. It is our Saviour who is very much with us, comforting us, guiding us, and lifting us up in our time of need. A simply prayer of “Come, Holy Spirit” is all we need to say.
Our first such encounter with Christ was at our baptism. I myself was baptized at St. Michael Church in Fort Erie by Msgr. Leo Clutterbuck, then Fr. Leo. It is at our baptism where we first receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, with the Holy Spirit coming down upon us, and then the fullness of those gifts is received at our Confirmation. Baptisms are joyous events for families and our parish community. How very special that I have the honour of baptizing a baby boy from our parish family this Sunday afternoon. I will ask the parents “Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?” Parents are the first teachers of the faith. Godparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, priests, all of us, assist the parents. This child will embark on a life-long journey of learning and embracing the faith. It is our God who will be with this child through the good times, and the challenges of life.
So, what is the important message here. It is our God who is with us, and sees us through the good times, and the challenges times. It is our God, through the power of the Holy Spirit who will see us through these times as well.
May God continue to bless each of you and those that you love. Keep safe. For so many of our parish family, your presence is greatly missed at our parish of St. Julia, though I know that we are united together, virtually, in the celebration of the Mass.
Come, Holy Spirit.
From Our Pastor