There is an oddity that occurs in this year’s Liturgical Calendar – The Baptism of the Lord disappears! (it happens once every seven years or so). Oh it’s there – on Monday January 8, the day after the Epiphany, but it is gone from the Sunday calendar and so kind of out of view. This oddity got me thinking about the connectedness of the underlying meaning of these two Feasts though. The Epiphany reveals to us the promise and hope that comes to the world as the darkness of sin and death are overshadowed by the love and goodness of that baby boy. Through the Epiphany, hope is restored for all the world. Through Baptism, darkness is dispelled for each one of us. Through Baptism hope is restored. Through Baptism, our family, friends and even strangers step forth to shepherd us into the light of his Word. The Epiphany reveals the light of hope for all showing the way forward that Baptism may allow us to enter into a personal realization of that same hope, shepherded by others.
As Vincentians, we are the shepherds come to bring the light of hope to those whom God brings before us. We are called through our example and our presence to illuminate the love of Christ as the magi did. We are called to walk with those to whom we bring individual hope, just as so many have walked with us in our journeys. Do I allow myself to be led by the light of Christ that others may come to know Him through my witness and presence?
Lord Jesus, allow us to have the courage to follow in your light, listening to your words and being guided by your heart. Allow us to be the gift of love bringing light and hope into the lives of others. Give us the capacity to offer ourselves, listening with compassion, serving with affection, and praying with sincerity that your glory may be evident as it shines brighter than any suffering we encounter. We pray all of this in your name. Amen