To listen to today’s homily just select the audio file below:
On May 25, 2008 NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander dug into the cold surface of Mars looking for water, a necessity for life. Seems water is there, all right, so life on Mars is possible. Now scientists are planning to set up a colony there.
Here on earth water is also the key to life; it’s increasingly a concern as our climate changes.Our food production depends on it; water and life go together. For that reason, it’s not unusual that water plays an important role in all the great world religions.
Water cleanses the body from dirt and whatever might prevent us from functioning in a healthy way. Water also nourishes life within us. We can’t live or grow without it.
The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River marks the beginning of his public mission. It tells us that he, the Word of God made flesh, brings all creation to the waters of life. He will take away sin, which can destroy us, and gives us new life, which is a share in God’s divine life.
In our liturgy the feast of the Baptism follows that of the Epiphany because the Word invites all people, not just the Jews, to share in the gift he brings. The Magi who came to honor the King of the Jews recognized him as their king too. ” The Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.”
“Today Christ enters the Jordan to wash away the sin of the world…Today the ‘voice of the Lord is heard over the waters.’ What does the voice say? ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
Today the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters in the likeness of a dove. A dove announced to Noah that the flood had disappeared from the earth; so now a dove is to reveal the world’s shipwreck is at an end for ever.” ( St. Peter Chrysologus)
A beautiful phrase, “the world’s shipwreck is at an end.” Water, bread and wine, water turned into wine, the human become divine. These are life-giving signs of Jesus Christ, the Word of God bringing life, not death.
His mission extends even to Mars, and beyond.