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On this final day of the Christmas season, we read about Jesus’ baptism. Our passage, which comes from Luke’s Gospel, reveals the connection between Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. It also offers a message of unity as we begin a new year.

The Gospel begins as John the Baptist explains that he is not the Messiah.

“I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” John tells the people.

The second part of our reading brings us to the moment of Jesus’ baptism. Luke writes that the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. A voice from heaven proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus’ baptism established his unity with God. During our baptisms, we too are united with God and welcomed as his children.

When we are welcomed into God’s family we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, and with that gift comes a responsibility to our brothers and sisters around the world. This is a message that is often reflected on during the Christmas season. We share our celebrations with the ones we love and extend compassion to those in need. At CMMB, that compassion crosses oceans—and it spans far beyond the Christmas season.

Sister Rosemary Moynihan is CMMB's first female board chair.

Sister Rosemary Moynihan, outgoing CMMB Board Chair

As we continue into this New Year, let us carry the meaning of Christmas with us and extend compassion to our brothers and sisters in need. We will conclude today’s reflection with a message from Sister Rosemary, an invaluable advocate of our mission. Her words were shared in anticipation of Christmas, but her message rings true all year long. If you interested in hearing more from Sister Rosemary, you can do so on our blog by clicking HERE.

In his 2020 encyclical to the world, Pope Francis reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters, all created by God in the image of God. And with that in mind, there are no strangers, just people we haven’t met.

He reminds us that we are called, just as the Good Samaritan, to be neighbors to those in need, to recognize Christ in the face of those who suffer, or excluded or marginalized, and to create a more just and inclusive society for all.

In grace and peace,


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*Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.