“My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for My kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing.”
Diary of St. Faustina, paragraph 1488
The Christmas season flashes by so quickly that there is little time to enjoy the Peace, Love and Joy that everyone wishes everyone else. That applies not only to the secular world but the liturgical one as well. Five Joyful mysteries are compressed into very few of the darkest weeks of the year as Holy Mother Church reminds the world that the darkness is temporary and God’s Light has overcome it. Then it’s time to move on.
Fulton Sheen, points out at the beginning of his book, “Life of Christ,” the uniqueness of Christ: He came to die! Unlike other great world figures of history, Christ came to build a Kingdom “not of this world” and… to die. His death would be the source of true Peace, Love and Joy.
The Baptism of Our Lord commemorates both an end and a beginning. It is the end of Christ’s private, hidden life – that period of which we receive glimpses through the Gospels. Now it is time to emerge from the darkness of obscurity and enter the public domain. It is time to begin the journey to His “hour,” and our redemption.
For us, Baptism washes away our sins and reunites us to the Father. In other words, it replaces our old life with New Life in Christ. For Jesus, there is no washing away of sins, since he was perfect without sin, but there is an end of His hidden life and a beginning of a new life: leading mankind away from sin and back to our Father Creator.
In this year of Mercy, remember that there are still too many people living in darkness. Just as they struggle to move out of darkness and into the Light, we, too, struggle in our own way to remain in the New Life that Jesus gives us. Just as He, through Faustina, offers support and asks us to lean on Him, so too, we can be Christ for others, offering similar support to them.