Our baptism, like the baptism of Jesus, took place in the presence of family, friends, and community. By walking into the water, Jesus chose to be one with us. Immersed in our reality of pain, suffering, and joy, he begins his baptism as an embarkment on his journey of how to live with peace and models how we can integrate it in our own lives as well.
When I reflect on the word “immerse,” it means giving of myself completely to a book, movie, project, activity, or an idea, where I cannot possibly think of anything else. As the new year begins with the renewal of baptismal promises, I find myself pondering, “How fully immersed am I in my faith? How is it lived out in my daily choices and response to others? Are my actions leading me to a greater and deeper relationship with God? Am I able to dive in and reciprocate the love and commitment God has generously given to me? What would that look like?” What surfaces my mind and arrests my attention is the invitation to see beyond my limitations, preoccupations, freedom from my self-imposed faults, and responsibilities. It opens my heart and mind, urging me towards God’s incredible capacity to love, forgive, and make me whole again. It propels me to ask God: What is the best that I can do? And then do it.
In our baptism, we are invited to something higher beyond our natural instincts. It embraces a whole new way of living that radiates more charity than selfishness, more joy than bitterness, more peace than factualism, and more willingness to sacrifice than the natural sway of our emotions. I believe real change happens on the level of the gestures, encouraging me to take risk in doing things differently than it has been done before. God does not ask for me to be ready, only willing.
How do I intentionally bless others?
Who are the influencers in my life forming my image of God?