Request for Prayers
I am personally asking for every member of St. Ann and Sacred Heart to offer a special prayer for a newborn baby who I baptized on December 17 in ICU at Children’s Hospital. She is doing better but is still subject to the effects of significant fever which is problematic for a newborn. Please pray for her to make a full recovery and suffer no ill effects from the experience.
New Security procedures for school Masses
Both Sacred Heart and St. Ann are investigating enhanced security for our schools especially when students are in church. We continue to investigate appropriate procedures.
The Pre-baptism class for first time parents will take place on Monday, January 11 at 8:00 p.m. in the basement of Sacred Heart Church.
Reflection on Scripture
The Baptism of the Lord signals the end of the Christmas Season and the return to Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time will give way to the Season of Lent on February 10 (Ash Wednesday). Ordinary does not mean “bland” or “usual” but comes from the Latin “ordo, ordinis” meaning one following upon another or showing order of succession. When Jesus is baptized, his public ministry is inaugurated. Jesus is not baptized for the remission of sin. He is the Son of God. He cannot sin. Nevertheless he goes out into the desert immediately afterward and is tempted. Obviously, the temptations fail.
The Sacred Scriptures point out that Baptism, like the other Sacraments, makes an indelible mark on our souls. We are ontologically changed by baptism. Original sin is taken away. We die to old self and are reborn in the family of Jesus Christ. We become temples of the Holy Spirit. This is a significant difference between what we (as Catholics) believe about baptism and how other traditions see it. It is not just a human ritual symbolizing what Jesus did for us on the cross. It is not magic. It (like all the Sacraments) is a gift to us in which the grace of God changes us from just natural beings to supernatural beings. Our destiny is changed. Our family inheritance is Heaven.
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