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Our True Identity: A Child of God

     For many people, who were baptized as a baby, Baptism is one of the greatest celebrations of our life that we will not remember. The day we were marked with the seal of Jesus Christ, that is enduring for the rest of eternity. We have become permanently marked with the sign, that defines us as a son/daughter of God. It is up to us, the children of God, to continue the task that Jesus has started.

     How many identities do we have? We have a number of them which would mark us as a certain person. The Economy sees us as consumers and expects us to buy to make it grow. We have our country identity, which places many stereotypes upon us, of things we are suppose to like and dislike. We have our Cultural Identities. Our Entertainment identity, which sees us as simple spectators. Our jobs place another identity on us.  However nice our job is, or the stereotypes are they are not who we are. We have ONE ultimate identity; the one which we receive at baptism: A Child of God.

     To truly understand the snippet we receive in the Second reading, one must read the entire chapter 10 of Acts of the Apostles.  Peter had been requested to go to Cornelius, who was captain of the Roman army regiment. Through a vision from an Angel, Cornelius was told to send for Peter to meet him, and to listen to him. Cornelius was a very faithful man, a Gentile, who would fast and pray. The second reading is the beginning part of the speech the he gives to the Jews, and Gentiles that are also present at the visit. After realizing that the Gentiles also received the same Spirit he had, he began to say that God shows no favorites- which he had previously thought.

     In today's Gospel, we have Matthews version of the Baptism of the Lord. A short dialogue between Jesus and John, Matthew gives us his response to the great 'debate' of that time... the Questions of "Why did Jesus get baptized if it was for sinners?" Matthew wrote, " To fulfill all righteousness."  Matthew, unlike the other Gospels, writes the words has , "This is my Son..."  instead of the traditional, "You are my Son..."
This leads us to believe that it was directed to everyone around the Jordan; it was God, claiming Jesus in front of everyone.

     Near the end of the Second reading it says, "... He went about doing good. " This is the mission that Christ fulfilled and that we must continue. The weekday readings this week have been about Love and how Christ is love and he showed us love. We can love because Christ showed us how to love. It is through baptism that we can love and do good like Christ. The ultimate love he has given us is the acceptance into his family through the waters of baptism.

     On this weekend of the Baptism of the Lord, may we come to realize that we have received our greatest identity through the waters of Baptism. May we come to know, like Peter, that God has no favorites and through our Faith and love we may do good like Christ. Christ loved us first and so we can love one another.  Ultimately love comes from God, and the grace of baptism is God accepting us has one of his own.

Today it is God announcing, to the world, about US:  

"This is my Son, the Blessed,
 with whom I am well pleased" 


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