Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Bulletin Cover Art and Column

January 19, 2020 Bulletin Cover

Dear Followers of the Christ,

Christians around the world celebrate the Week of Christian Unity, January 18-25. This year’s theme is: They Showed Us Unusual Kindness. (Acts 28:2). The Week of Christian Unity promotes themes of becoming one through our foundational sacrament of baptism. The unity of all Christian churches, the hope for a better world, the work of justice and peace, and the integrity of all human life, become themes for us to reflect upon in our search for Christ Jesus in our world and times.

This year’s theme reveals our common call to serve people. We reveal the love of God in all human life. This theme renews our challenge to work for the common good. We witness to the dignity of people, including the immigrant, the worker, the child in trouble, the elderly confined to illness, the prisoner in confinement, the persons living on the streets, and the teen sold for sex. All people, regardless of who they are or what they own, are shown kindness and love under the banner of baptism.

Today’s gospel, John 1: 29-34, states that John the Baptist baptizes Jesus so to reveal him to Israel. John’s role is to reveal the person of Jesus. This action of John is key to our own baptism. The Church baptizes us so to reveal Jesus and his love in our midst. Baptism reveals community, forgiveness and hope for all people.

Our baptism is not a club membership. The sacrament that unites all Christians reveals Jesus and unites us in his work on earth. Baptism is about mission as well as creating community. The mission of the Church is based on our baptism that hope is for every human being on earth. Baptism becomes a herald of hope for those who need God. Baptism on earth reflects the beauty of heaven.

Baptism establishes God’s authority on earth. In our sacrament of baptism, God reveals the gift of the Holy Spirit within our lives. The Holy Spirit teaches the hope of heaven. The Spirit unites; it does not divide. The Spirit offers hope for people, not violence or conflict. The Holy Spirit reveals love and not hatred or war. The Holy Spirit creates community and union, not separation and injustice. The Holy Spirit does not hoard power nor is it racist or misogynist. The Holy Spirit does not separate nor does the Spirit work only to keep love only for the well deserving. The beauty of heaven is revealed within every baptismal font on earth.

I invite you to pray for the unity of our Christian heritage. In our world where Christianity is waning, we call on the Holy Spirit to invigorate the Church and instill hope within all who are baptized. Our mission on earth is offer healing, consolation and hope for all people. May we create a new understanding of such a heavenly gift. May our compassion for the poor, for our children and for the neglected, serve us until the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.

 

Response: Behold the Lamb of God

 

When we face hatred and violence…

When fear enslaves us…

When hopelessness melts our futures…

 

When discouragement forms our perspectives…

When faith seems empty…

When love becomes fear…

 

When unity dissolves into jealousy…

When power ignites hatred…

When we face war and despair…

 

When love rises from water…

When hope is lifted up…

When beauty of people is revealed…

 

When baptism unites…

When faith is given voice…

When integrity renews…

 

When we work for justice…

When voices are heard…

When we seek the unity of love…

 

Amen

 

 

Blessings,

Fr. Ron

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