Fr. Charlie Bolser, CSV, shares his reflections on the readings for the Baptism of Jesus.
To be baptized – to be born again. Following several months of growth and development in the womb, we are thrust out into the world of chaos and possibility. We are born into a family, a culture, a particular time and place. We are limited in our ability to understand or to communicate and we are hungry. Our world has been pregnant with life for billions of years and is still being transformed. We are thrust into a world filled with fear, greed, the struggle for power, arrogance and great diversity. The Human Journey is one filled with mystery and possibility. Over the Centuries, life, including human life, has developed and spread over our small planet located in our small galaxy. We grope our way and struggle to understand.
The Gospel according to Matthew tells us the story of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptizer – a prophet in his own time. This story is about being born again – but being born into a new level of existence – born into the Spirit that brings light and life into our word. We are firstborn into the physical world that ends with death but then born into the Spirit that brings the fullness of life – life that does not die. Jesus, on his journey, brings life out of death.
This Christmas Season teaches us that God loves creation; loves humanity enough to become one with them, while enabling them to become one with him. Being born again – in the spirit this time; the spirit of creation itself, the spirit that does not die. To be born a second time into the Spirit of life. This journey does not eliminate the struggle or the pain but becomes one with it. We are baptized into a community with that Divine Presence at the center. We are connected, one to the other and to the Christ that holds us together. We are called to open our eyes and to see that we need one another – we depend on the great diversity found in the unity of the one God. Jesus calls us to open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts to experience the love that is at the core of creation. Jesus calls us to stand in awe and wonder as we behold the miracle of life that surrounds us and is alive in the very marrow of our bones. To be born again into the life of the Spirit that fulfills the life of the flesh.
Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.