To Whom Do You Belong?

Sunday, January 10th 2020 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Our Christmas season concludes this Sunday with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  Saint John the Baptist baptized in the Jordan River, calling people to repent of their sins and therefore be baptized in water to wash their sins away.  Now Jesus was not baptized because he needed to repent — rather, He was revealing who He was and what He came to do.

It was from His revelatory mission that Catholics receive the sacrament of baptism — when we become adopted sons and daughters of God and therefore members of His family. From that moment, we belong to Jesus Christ — we become His disciples. In our lives, by our words and example, we reflect this relationship. The way we live should reveal to whom we belong.

In this Sunday’s First Reading, the prophet Isaiah shared a message of hope, “Why spend your money for what is not bread, your wages for what fails to satisfy?” We should ask ourselves, “Who is the king that rules over our hearts?” As Christians, it should be God. We often fill our lives with meaningless things that satisfy us only momentarily. If we truly do belong to Jesus Christ, then we will make Him our highest priority. What we fill our lives with should reveal that Jesus is our King.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Saint Mark revealed the intimate relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and God the Father proclaimed, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” We, too, have access to an intimate personal relationship with God. But like all good relationships, it takes effort and determination. I tell married couples that marriage is hard work.  For Christians it is the same.  Our relationship with God takes effort and hard work.  It just does not happen on its own.  By our own effort and by God’s grace, our relationship with Jesus will grow and flourish.  How we spend our time and how we share our gifts of time, talents, and treasure (material resources) will say a lot about to whom that we belong.

Monday begins the Liturgical Season of Ordinary Time and the vestments the priests wear return to the color green.  We pray that the year 2021 will be rewarding and full of hope and blessings.