January 10, 2016 - Baptism of the Lord, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
We identify ourselves in many different ways.
We identify ourselves by our places of origin: the Champagnes from Cypress Island, the Smiths from Bayou Portage, the Bonins from Coteau Holmes, the Courvilles and Blanchards and Barras from Catahoula, the Bienvenues and Theriots from Saint Martinville.
We identify ourselves by our families. Who’s your mama? Who’s your daddy? I am so and so’s son. So and so is my mother.
We identify ourselves by our occupations. I am a doctor. I am a teacher. I am a priest. I build houses for a living. I cut hair.
We identify ourselves by our associations. I’m a member of the National Rifle Association. I’m in the Kiwanis. I’m a Boy Scout. I’m a democrat.
We identify ourselves by our sexual orientation. Gay. Straight. Bi. Trans. Poly. Fem. Metro.
We identify ourselves by our religion. Jewish. Muslim. Evangelical Protestant. Lutheran. Catholic.
What do these really say about us? They tell of our personality traits, preferences, likes and dislikes, memberships, careers. But that’s about all. They don’t really say anything about who we are.
Isn’t there something more we can say about ourselves?
Isn’t there another identity? Could there be another association?
Isn’t there something more we should say about ourselves? Could there be another family?
Well, even if we don’t say something more about ourselves, God in heaven has something to say about us, “You are my beloved. With you I am well pleased.”
These are comforting words. They say something about who we are. God doesn’t stop there. God has more to say through the Prophet Isaiah.
I have formed you. I have called you by name. I have grasped you by the hand. Our God says to us, “I have created you. You are wonderfully made.” If that’s not enough, there’s even more.
God anointed his son, Jesus, with the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was compelled to go about doing good. This brought about healing.
If God created us, then we are also God’s children. Which means that God anoints us and fills us with the Holy Spirit so that we can go out into the world and do good.
Our good works also bring about healing in our lives, in our families, in our world.
We identify ourselves in many different ways. But the most important way for us to identify ourselves is the way God identifies us.
You are my beloved. With you I am well pleased.