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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

Feast of the Baptism of Jesus 2024

St. Mel Church in Woodland Hills California where I was baptized. Where were you baptized?

“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mk 1:7-11). 

These words, spoken at the moment of Jesus' baptism, mark the beginning of His public ministry, a journey of love, sacrifice, and redemption.

Like Jesus, each of us has had a beginning, a moment where our journey with Christ started. For most of us, this journey began when we were baptized as infants. I, too, share in this experience. Baptized as a baby at St. Mel Church in Woodland Hills, California, I have no memory of the event itself. Yet, that day was the cornerstone of my faith journey.

Years later, I found myself back in Southern California, and I felt a calling to visit St. Mel Church. The bustling streets of Los Angeles could not diminish the significance of this pilgrimage. Upon entering the church, my first instinct was to seek out the baptismal font. The touch of the cool water brought an overwhelming sense of realization: “Wow, this is where it all began! This is where I met Jesus for the first time in my life!”

This experience was a profound reminder that our journey with Christ is not marked by our memory of the event, but by the grace and love of God that flows into our lives from that moment onwards. Each drop of water from our baptism symbolizes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, cleansing us, renewing us, and incorporating us into the Body of Christ.

In the Gospel, the heavens opening and the Spirit descending upon Jesus signify God's loving presence, affirming Jesus as His beloved Son. In our baptism, we too are embraced as children of God, beloved and cherished. Our baptism is not just a ceremony; it is a sacrament that imparts divine life into our souls, a life that calls us to follow Christ's example of love and service.

As we reflect on Jesus' baptism and our own, let us remember that our Christian journey is a continuous call to renewal and conversion. Each day, we are invited to dip our fingers into the waters of our baptism, to remember who we are and Whose we are. Our baptism is a call to a lifelong journey with Christ, a journey marked by faith, hope, and love.

Let us then renew our baptismal promises today. Let us commit ourselves anew to live as faithful disciples of Christ, letting His light shine through us. And as we go forth, let us carry with us the assurance that in our baptism, we have been claimed by Christ, marked as His own, and sent forth to bring His love and light to the world.


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