To be baptized is to be immersed and changed. The original idea is similar to the pickling process. Something (or someone) is immersed in fluid (water) and it changes as a result. For us, baptism is primarily an immersion into life and the Church, and as a result we are changed, we become something else, something more. In the early Church, almost exclusively, adults marked their identity as a Christian by being fully immersed in a pool, river or other body of water, and thus they took on a new identity as a Christian. St. Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians (3:27), “…in baptism we put on Christ like a garment.”
But this weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord and it may beg the question, “Did Jesus have to change?” The basic answer is “no,” but there is so much more symbolism in Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. John is confronted with a challenge. The Lord he has been preparing the world for comes to him to be baptized. He responds by saying that he should not be baptizing Jesus, Jesus should be baptizing him. Jesus responds by affirming the importance of John’s action for him.
Consider that the Jordan River symbolizes life—all life—your life—my life, and Jesus is immersing himself into the river of our lives in a very public ritual that showed he was immersing himself fully into the human condition. This was then mirrored in a profound and even more dramatic way as he immersed himself in human suffering—your suffering—my suffering, and at the end of his life as he died an excruciating death as a human on the cross. In both he demonstrated the fullness of his humanity and divinity.
As the centuries have rolled on, Baptism, like all sacraments and significant aspects of our faith, has been institutionalized. An indication of this is so many of us claiming that we WERE baptized. Our good friend Terry Nelson-Johnson from Old St. Patrick’s and his ministry called Soul Play challenges many people often by asking, “ARE you baptized?” This then takes us into a whole realm of continuing to put our faith into action, to demonstrate that we live our Baptism in a way that makes the Church and the world a better place.
We are saying farewell to a couple who have consistently put their baptismal identity into action, Angie and Frank Sevilla. The Sevillas are moving to San Antonio, Texas and we are acknowledging them with a special blessing of gratitude and sending during the 9:00am Mass this weekend. Frank and Angie have been involved in many ministries through the years here at Holy Family and beyond, including Job Support, Eucharistic Ministry, Ushers, Greeters, Mass Coordinators, Multicultural Ministry, Hospitality, New Parishioner Gatherings, Archdiocesan Rep for Parish Council and more. Salamat (thank you in Tagalog, a language from their native Philippines), Frank and Angie!!!
Others who are living out their Baptismal commitments are members of our Parish Pastoral Council. We have made some recent changes in the configuration of the Parish Pastoral Council to make meetings and the role of Council Members more effective and productive.
Members of the Parish Pastoral Council are now be divided into VOTING Members and REPRESETATIVE Members primarily aligned with the Pillars of our Strategic Plan
Members of our New Parish Pastoral Council are:
7 Voting Members
1. Adult Faith Formation – Bill Leece
2. Building Community – Mike Myers
3. Liturgical Arts/Worship – Bob Keller
4. Sacramental Theology & Practice – Rick Zanardo
5. Charity, Justice & Pastoral Care – Luis
6. Stewardship of Resources & Leadership – Pete Barber
7. Knights of Columbus – Greg Flanagan
5 Representative Members
1. Academy – Mike Pazur
2. Teen – Kasia Meler
3. Teen – Vince Perone
4. Adult Rep for Teen & Family Faith – Joan Sloan
5. Archdiocesan Rep – Chad Archer
It is with sadness that we bid farewell to John Bacchi, who has played piano for our daily Masses for the past several years. John passed away recently and we offer our prayers and condolences to his sisters and extended family and our gratitude for his prayerful music that has enriched our daily celebration of the Eucharist.