“Maybe that’s unrealistic and oversimplified—but maybe it isn’t!” That’s how I ended my homily for the great feast of the Lord’s Baptism. As he rose from the waters, a voice proclaimed “This is my Beloved Son!” and as Jesus was baptized not only for our sake but his, I have to wonder if these words too are meant for us to take on. The Lord loves us. This is an inescapable fact for each of us. If we’re honest, we know there are others who do, too. So I speculate, “What if each person in the world felt loved?” truly and deeply. What would be the effect in our families, in our homes? How would things be different? In our schools? In our streets and even roadways now plagued with violence? In Washington D.C.—what if each person on that Wednesday afternoon was someone who felt loved, truly and deeply? Would things have unfolded differently?

That’s what I mean by, maybe, some would say, that’s unrealistic and simplistic. I wonder—maybe it isn’t. How many of our problems, and the world’s would be solved, or at least improved by each of us believing what the Father said to Jesus, and to us, that Baptism day: You Are My Beloved

This is powerful when combined with the previous week, the Epiphany. I proposed then: Be good

at what you do. Whatever it is you do to make your way in the world, be good at it. Business, services, administration, education—we don’t need mediocre performance in any of these areas, and we won’t feel fulfilled at doing it. Beyond that, though, our human competencies are what leads us to a joyful spiritual life. The Wise Men symbolize this, as they used their extensive scientific knowledge to discover the star and its special meaning. Then they travelled to the crib, and there they were illumined. So this is where it ties in with the Baptism. If we do our work humanly, we will feel loved. News flash: Relationships are hard work. When we’re willing to reach out, to listen, to be grateful, we will experi- ence love as God has always intended us to.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCMENTS: Pope Francis has declared next Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, as Sunday of the Word of God, including Enthroning the Word of God in homes. You’re invited to bring your Bible—your family or home Bible, or the one you use most for prayer—to be blessed at Mass. You would keep it in the pew with you as these are blessed after the homily.

And—TA DA! Now that Monsignor Blood has settled in and gone through a couple of early additional things, a second daily Mass will be reintroduced this week. Monday through Saturday, this will be at 8:15 A.M. (The time is not planned to change, summer or school year) See the announcement on the next page. On occasion, if funerals or other commitments add up, one service may be converted to a Communion Service.

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