Merry Christmas. It is still Christmas by the way. Until the end of this day today, we get to celebrate the wonderful mysteries of Christmas. You may wonder why we are celebrating Christmas on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord? Today he is supposed to be 30 years old after all, so why are we still celebrating Christmas? The wisdom of the church has revealed to us that Christ was born in the flesh on Christmas Day, and so we got to see God in the flesh on Christmas Day. Then on the Baptism of the Lord, Christ is born again of the spirit.
Today as we celebrate the feast of John the Baptist, we get to see God born of flesh and born in the spirit. That may be a struggle for us to understand what that means, but the church fathers talk about the sacred waters of baptism. The reason Jesus enters the waters of Baptism (and was immersed by John the Baptist) was so that he could be with us when we were immersed in the waters of Baptism. I hope you all know your Baptism day. If you do not, look up your certificate. It is the most important day of your life. It is more important than the day you were born. On your Baptism, you were reborn as a son and daughter of God. I may have to brag a little bit because my Baptism is June 24, which is the Feast of John the Baptist when he was born. I am a little blessed to have that as my baptism day. Celebrate your Baptism day.
We celebrate this Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, and we continue to celebrate this as Christmas because Christ is being born in a special way. Just as the church fathers said when he made holy the waters of Baptism, they were poured on him and immersed on him. When you were baptized, those same waters that were made holy by him, were poured over you and you became baptized into Christ. That means that union that happens is so one and singular that you become one with Christ in Baptism. The amazing thing about that is just as Christ suffered, died, and rose all those years ago, in your baptism, you enter that Paschal Mystery. When the waters are poured over you, you enter the suffering, and the dying and the rising of Christ. As you pray the rosary, and you think about all the mysteries, the Joyful Mysteries, the Glorious Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Luminous Mysteries, all those mysteries of Christ, you will experience in your own life. So that means the next time you are suffering or going through a different time in your life, Christ is suffering with you and in you. You are not going through that suffering alone. The next time you experience something wonderful and joyful in your life, Christ is with you, in union with you in that joy. You are not doing it alone. For the rest of your life, from the time you were baptized, you are one with Christ. Everything you do is Christ experiencing the world in, with and through you.
We continue to celebrate this day, Christmas, Christ being born into our lives. When we were born in baptism, we were born into Christ. It is a born-again new experience being in the life of Christ. I would just invite you to kind of meditate on the mysteries of the rosary this day and just think about all the ways that Christ is experiencing his life in you, and you are experiencing the life of Christ. It is such a wonderful gift, a profound mystery, that we celebrate on this final day of this Christmas season. Christ wants to be born again in us and that he is living with us – in and through our baptism. I really hope at the end of mass you will all still wish me a Merry Christmas and celebrate this wonderful joy this final day of Christmas brings – when Christ is born for us in the spirit.