Showing posts with label Baptism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baptism. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Gospel Reflection - The Ascension of the Lord

My weekly reflection on the Sunday Gospel reading. In this video, I reflect on Matthew 28:16-20, the Gospel reading for the Ascension of the Lord in Cycle A, exploring the following topics:

- Jesus gives us a clear mission - the Great Commission.
- We have to ask the question: Have we lost our missionary zeal?
- Dialog and respect are good, but they should not take away our desire to convert the world.
- Danger of indifferentism.
- Our union with Christ should shine through our lives.
- Even though the Apostles doubt, they still worship. We should follow their example in times of doubt.
- We are not expected to do it on our own. Christ is with us always.

You can find the text of the Gospel reading for the Ascension of the Lord in Cycle A at the USCCB website.



Thursday, January 16, 2020

Gospel Reflection - Cycle A - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am starting a new weekly video series of reflections on the Sunday Gospel reading. In the video below, I reflect on John 1:29-34, the Gospel reading for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time in Cycle A, exploring the following topics:

- The identity of Jesus.
- What does it mean that Jesus is the Lamb of God?
- How Jesus changed the nature of baptism.
- What does this passage say about the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist?


Saturday, April 30, 2016

In the Jordan River

In January of 2016, I led a group of 45 people on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Jordan. In Jordan, we visited the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Due to irrigational use, the river has been substantially narrowed in this area, and today the actual site of the baptism is a little distance away from the water on the Jordanian side. The area of the river closest to the baptism site can be accessed both from Jordan and from Israel, a small marker separating the two sides in the water.

Our visit fell on January 19th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany in the Eastern rites. A large group of Iraqi Christians were visiting the site that day in honor of the feast. Over the years, millions of refugees have found shelter in the country of Jordan, especially Palestinians, Iraqis, and Syrians. Many of the refugees are Arab Christians, who trace their spiritual roots to the preaching of the first disciples of Christ.

Standing on the bank of the river, we renewed our baptismal vows as a group. Later, I went into the water and submerged myself three times. The water was very cold and very muddy, but going in was a powerful experience. Given the narrowness of the river at this spot, I also had to be careful not to cross the international border, because once I was in the water, I was standing just a few feet away from Israel.