Cyber-Version of homily for Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
The new year is underway. We are resolving issues of the past. We are planning, perhaps resolving, perhaps worrying about the year ahead. And we gather here today to worship God who is eternal. We seek to listen to Scripture, God’s everlasting Truth. We prepare to received Christ in Holy Communion. And we are reminded we are called, created by Him, to have our lives immersed in God.
Isaiah the prophet, in our first reading recognizes the purpose of our Creator, from before our birth, to glorify Christ. We are to share and reveal Him in our daily lives and for eternity, in simplicity of our faith and love well lived.
St. Paul in his first letter to the early church in Corinth echoes the message of the early prophet. To a struggling church, seeking to live their faith in the midst of world set against them and wrestling with their own weak humanity Paul affirms that they too are called by God to be set apart, immersed in Christ’s holy love, eternally.
Our Gospel reading reminds us of our Lord’s baptism in the Jordan and brings to focus that from the waters of baptism we are to grow on in the baptism of the Holy Spirit given by Christ Himself. Celebrated in the Sacrament of Confirmation the Church is called to live, immersed in God. This realization of being immersed in God comes from the very word “baptize’. Literally expressed we see the longing of Christ to immerse, to drench us in His Father’s redeeming love. Perhaps to better understand and hence to enter into this holy immersion we can look at our life, immersed in God. Christ seeks to immerse our life in Him, past present and future, that is, for all eternity.
So often we dwell in the past. We may lament lost youth or opportunity. We may fret and carry heavy burdens of guilt and sorrow of things done or not done. We may carry poisonous resentments while remembering and accusing others of wrongs, real or imagined. All the while, by this crippling posture of past walks we fail to live fully..now. It is in the refrain from our psalm we can share the solution. “Here I am (present tense, today) Lord, I come to do your will, immerse my past in Your Holy Spirit, immerse my past, in Your mercy and forgiveness”.
We also worry about the future. Health, finances, relationships, world peace, the environment all or real, cause us to lose sleep at night. All these unknowns, when dwelt upon, can rob of us of the peace and joy Christ longs for us to know, now. Striving to see beyond today we can lose sight of Christ with us in the present. This does not mean God would not have us plan or prepare for the future. It means we are to simply immerse our will, our plans, our hopes in the wisdom of His love. As we do so the Holy Spirit then can lead and prepare us for that which God alone knows will lie ahead. Today, then, we pray, “Here I am Lord. I come to do Your will.” We then trust God to immerse our will in His where He will nurture and guide our hopes and faith to the fullness of His love for all eternity.
This brings us to the present. God, eternal, calls us to be His eternally. To be immersed in the mercy and hope of Christ forever we must live with Him in the present. Today, Christ calls and speaks to all who seek Him. Today we are sought by the Crucified to live in hIs Real Presence, nourished by His sacred Body and Blood. For all the Confirmed Christ seeks to remind and renew our immersion in His Holy Spirit. For those preparing for that holy immersion Christ will be drawing you closer to fill you with His Spirit and power. Today Christ longs to here us say to Him: ” Her I am Lord, I come to do your will.”
May Christ immerse our past in mercy and forgiveness, our future in His hope and courage and today in His Spirit of Holy love. And for all eternity may we be immersed in God.