January 13, 2019

Friends,

I received “Just This” for Christmas. It is a small book written by Richard Rohr. Both it, and he are
profound. I am going to quote from the book “In the Big Bang of Creation, maybe fourteen billion years ago. God first revealed the goodness of God in visible form. Then the incarnation of Jesus, two thousand years ago, made the same message clear, believable and visible in one personal manifestation.

Thus, there are not sacred and profane things, places and moments. There are only sacred things and
desecrated things, places, and moments. And we alone can desecrate them by our blindness and lack of reverence. It is one sacred universe, and we are all a part of it.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

As we celebrate the baptism of Jesus this weekend and truly express our appreciation for the gift of our baptism, we are not just grateful for our entrance into the Church but, more fundamentally, for our entrance into the world. What a wonderful discovery it is to realize that all of creation is blessed by God and is presented to each of us. We then decide how we will bless God’s creation by our presence within it, just as we decide how we will bless the Church with our presence.

I do not like words that divide us into black and white categories; like good and evil, the saved and the
unsaved, culture of life vs culture of death, heaven and hell, and sacred and profane. Christ's birth changed the whole history of the world and gave an enhanced dignity to humanity. Our baptism reminds us of how sacred we are to be in this world and to accept our responsibility and privilege to
make all things sacred. Some theologians now encourage us to look at our baptism as an “original blessing” rather than focus on the concept of “original sin.” 

Because of our free will we sometimes choose to desecrate creation including the environment as well as other human beings. They remain sacred to God and we as caretakers and stewards are called to convince others of how sacred it all is, and must be, if we are to live at peace and continue to assure the future of our planet and humanity.

We believe God’s Spirit has hovered over the world since creation and that we celebrate the presence of that Spirit in each of us at our baptism. The true sign of being a Christian is in recognizing and celebrating the presence of that Spirit in the world and in everyone we meet. That knowledge then leads to the elimination of all black and white categories because we come to know that even though we all may not look alike, sound alike, think alike or believe alike, there is only one of us.

Enjoy Life!

Father Coyne

 

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