Posted by: fvbcdm | January 5, 2015

Feast of Saint John Neumann  (5 Jan 2015)      

Rejoice with me today; it’s the anniversary of my baptism, when I was “born again of water and the Holy Spirit.” I love to celebrate this enormously important event in my life, and when I’m in New Orleans, I have occasionally gone on January 5th to the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus on the Loyola University campus where my parents were married in 1926 and I was baptized in 1930.

My baptism took place just five weeks after the stock-market crash of 1929 and the beginning of the great depression of the 30s. However, the tragic things happening on Wall Street did not prevent our Lord from doing very nice things for me by bringing me into the community of the Church.

I would encourage you again—I’ve done it before—to find out the date of your baptism if you don’t already know it, and then to celebrate it each year with a little jubilee within your own heart if not a celebration which others can attend. By very happy coincidence, the entrance antiphon of today’s Mass is taken from the 16th psalm and says this: O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. For me the measuring lines have fallen on pleasant sites; fair to me indeed is my inheritance.  All of that means that I recognize how fortunate I am that God has loved me so much that he has not only called me out of nothingness into being, but also out of the great run of humanity in general into the Mystical Body the Church.  And then, for those of us in the priesthood and/or religious life, there have been even more divine callings to a closer union with God. And that is also true of those of you who are living, or have lived, in a sacramental marriage which is certainly another divine calling. So, my dear friends, let us rejoice today at God’s goodness and try to repay that goodness by living to the hilt the life to which he has called us. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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