From the Pastor's Pen - You are Loved
You are Loved These are words that have been running through my mind, partly to the tune of a lovely ACTS song. We again ended the Christmas season with observing the Baptism of the Lord, and it’s striking on several levels. Even John the Baptist objected to baptizing Jesus, but Jesus said, “Give in for now.” He still wouldn’t claim any special privilege for his status as God’s Son. He wanted to be us in every way, and human beings have sins and need to be forgiven. So he changed our humanity by showing we could be lifted up to a new level of life.
And the essence of that new level for us is spoken right after Jesus is baptized: “You are my beloved Son.” In the baptized Jesus, we are all loved sons and daughters of God. Loved people act in certain ways: confident, hopeful, generous, forgiving. Let’s try to act these out in honor of this feast. As I said Sunday, “What would our world be like if each person felt truly loved?” (Listen to my full homily here.)
Speaking of peaceful people, did you know each Pope puts out a special message of peace every Jan. 1? It’s called the World Day of Peace Message (easy to find online—put that title and 2019). This year Pope Francis’ theme is Good politics is at the service of peace. How timely this is. He doesn’t take the word “politics” to be a bad thing—after all, it’s Greek for “things of the people.” The challenge is to do good politics. Those in “power” are servants, and calls them all to exercise charity, avoid vices and selfish gains, promote the participation of the young, and turn away from both war and fear. He calls us to peace in three aspects: Peace with yourself, Peace with others, and Peace with all creation. The whole message, which is fairly brief, is comforting as well as challenging. Here is a link to it for easy access.