St. John Neumann Catholic Church

Houston, Texas

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January 11-18, 2015

January 11, 2015

FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD

     The last major feast of the Christmas Season, in fact - the last day of the Christmas Season - is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The baptism of Jesus is a significant event.

     The icon of the Baptism of Christ tells an interesting story. Notice that Christ is in the center of the icon. Everything revolves around him. He is standing in the Jordan River, his right hand extended in blessing. He is wearing a white loin cloth, his baptismal garment.

     Notice the motion of the water. Psalm 114:3 refers to the sea beholding and fleeing and the Jordan turning back. Water is life- giving, but the swirling, murky waters also are frightening and hold death. Christ descends into the waters conquering the evil lurking there.

     Below John the Baptist there is a tree, and beneath the tree there is an axe. This is a reference to John’s preaching. (See Matthew 3:10.) The icon is also very Trinitarian. Above Christ’s head you can see the Holy Spirit in the form of the dove, and above that at the top of the icon, the opening in the heavens where God descends. And note that from that opening there are three rays of light - three for the Trinity.

     In the icon, the mountains are singing the praises of God. May we do the same!We are baptized with water. We recall our baptism with the sprinkling of water, and by blessing ourselves with holy water.

     Yes, baptism is a significant event! Not just for Jesus, but for each one of us. It is in baptism that we die and rise with Christ. It is in baptism that we enter the Church, the Body of Christ. It is in baptism that we become children of God. It is in baptism that we are anointed priest, prophet and king. So as we come to the conclusion of this Christmas Season, let us celebrate not only Jesus’ baptism, but our own. And let us continue to remember and celebrate our baptism each and every day as we follow Jesus this new year. 


 

 Y o u t h G r o u p 

Inviting students in grades 9th through 12th! 

Join us in the CCE Building as we build community, have fun and learn more about our Catholic Faith. Snacks always served! 

Next Meeting: Wed., January 14, 6:30PM—7:30PM 

 


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