It was bedtime for six-year old Maria. Her dad was at the computer, finishing up a report due at work the next day.
After a few minutes, he realized Maria was standing next to him. “Honey, what do you need?” He asked. “Daddy is kind of busy.”
“It’s bedtime, Daddy. I came to say goodnight.”
Still keeping one eye on his work, he gave Maria a hug and a kiss.
“Good night, sweet pea. Sleep tight. I love you. Now off to bed,” Dad said, quickly returning to his report.
Again, after a few minutes, he realized Maria was still standing next to him. “Honey, I gave you a hug and kiss. What do you want now?”
Little Maria said, “Yes, Daddy. You did give me a hug and kiss. But you really weren’t into it. How about doing it again, but this time give me your full attention.”
If we claim to be among Jesus’ followers, then Jesus demands that we be “into it” with him – that we give him our full attention – not just our passing thoughts from time to time – as we keep ourselves focused on something else.
True discipleship demands a constant awareness of God’s presence in our lives – true discipleship compels us to seek the presence of God in all things.
Today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus – the official close to the Christmas season. But as we celebrate Jesus’ baptism – we are called to remember our own Baptism – when three things happened to us after the life-giving waters of Baptism were poured over us:
We were anointed with the Oil of Chrism: and reminded that just as Christ was anointed priest, prophet, and king – so, too, are we. . . which in part means we strive to make ourselves, and those around us – holy. >>
We accept the call to announce the good news of the kingdom by comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. And we are good stewards of all the things God has loaned to us for our time here on earth: every quality and skill, every kind and generous impulse, every material things we possess and every holy thing that dwells in our hearts and minds.
The second thing that happened to us at the time of our Baptism – was that we were clothed in a white garment – and asked to see in it – the outward sign of the change that took place within us – our dedication to Christ – and asked to keep our Christian dignity unstained – on our journey toward the kingdom of God –
which demands a constant awareness of God’s presence in our lives – and not just our passing thoughts from time to time.
And third, we were given a candle lit from the Easter or Paschal candle – symbolizing the light of Christ – and were challenged to walk always in the light of Christ, rather than in the darkness of sin – something which, again, compels us to seek the presence of God in all things.
Last week we were told that the Magi were “overjoyed” at finding Jesus in Bethlehem. May we always be “overjoyed” at being called to follow Christ as a priest, prophet, and king.
And, like the Magi, may we always “search diligently” for Christ in our lives – so that we can always walk in his wonderful light – rather than in the darkness of sin.
To do both of these things – will require that we be “into it” with Jesus – that we give him our full attention – and not just our passing thoughts from time to time – as we keep focusing on something else, rather than him.
This is certainly a new year’s resolution fit for us all. . .
Christ our Light. . .