A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
BEING LOVED AND HAVING A PURPOSE IN LIFE
The liturgical season of Christmas comes to a conclusion this Sunday with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord.
Among the millions of Jews imprisoned by the Nazis in the death camps of the 1930 to 1940s was Victor Frankl. In spite of the horrors and the odds, he survived. Around him, next to him, each day of his ordeal, dozens, hundreds, thousands of fellow-Jews and others died. Most of them died in the ovens, of course, but there were others who died simply because they gave up hope and lost heart, overwhelmed by horror and fear and hopelessness.
Frankl survived, he said, because two forces sustained him: one was the certainty of his wife's love. The other was an inner drive to rewrite the manuscript of a book he had completed after years of labor, which the Nazis had destroyed. Frankl's imprisonment was lightened by daily imaginary conversations with his wife and by scrawling notes for his book on all the bits and scraps of paper he could find.
After the end of the regime he published his book, The Meaning of Life. In it he explains these two insights to cope with life: first, the discovery and certainty of being loved, and, second, having a clear and controlling purpose in life. In Baptism we receive these two messages.
It is said that many people come to Church three times primarily. They're baptized, they get married, and they have their funeral service at the Church. The 13th century king of France, St. Louis IX (1226-70), insisted that the grand celebration of his birthday should be held on the day of his Baptism, and not on his birthday proper. His argument was that Baptism was the beginning of a life that would continue for eternity in the everlasting glory of Heaven.
Let us realize the importance of our Baptism and renew our faith in the Lord, remembering that we are loved by him day by day and that we have a clear and regulatory purpose in Christian life.
In the Service of the Lord,
Father Thainese Alphonse