Homily The Baptism of the Lord — Sunday January 10, 2021
“Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.”
WOW, what a powerful and fitting statement for our age. When all is said and done, in the end what it will come down to is; what have you done with Jesus, the Christ. Have you turned to the Lord for his mercy and forgiveness?
Are you thirsty? Come and drink from the fountain which will truly quench your thirst. Are you you hungry, for things that will nourish your soul? With true faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you’ll never grow hungry.
Do we have scoundrels in our midst today, such as described in our first reading? From my studies, I’d extrapolate that our modern scoundrels are those who are denying the power of God to transmit his word to us inviolate throughout the millennia. In our pride and hubris, we think we know better, or we’re so much more evolved than our predecessors in the faith. The scoundrels say that the Apostles and other writers of Holy Scripture simply didn’t understand our modern culture, therefor they assume they have license to create new doctrine and even a new gospel. However, the prophet Isaiah tells us that God’s “thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
Woe to the scoundrels of our age who dare to usurp the Holy writ that has been handed down to us. For God’s words are clear, His Holy prerogative will not be thwarted. His word shall not return to him void, but shall continue to doing His will, achieving the end for which He sent it.
St John, the beloved, tells us in our second reading that “the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Pray, my sisters and brothers that you may conquer of the world, through attaining an “Authentic Faith.” You see, a TRUE Christian faith is grounded in authentic teachings handed down to the Church from antiquity These truths are found in two primary sources; Holy Scripture, and Holy Tradition. No, we’re not talking about simply traditions of men, as we have seen developing ever since the Great Schism, and then with the Protestant Reformation. We’re talking about the Holy Traditions that presented us with Scripture itself, and defined our orthodox understanding of the Christian faith.
Modern Churches that are embracing liberal, politically correct doctrine, are teaching a counterfeit Christianity. They are truly scoundrels, in that they are leading countless souls to eternal destruction. Our prayer is that all who are following the false gospel of our age will seek the Lord, while he still may be found.
What “testimony” are you listening too? The John the Baptist testified that Jesus was the Christ, then the Father and Holy Spirit confirmed Jesus’ identity His baptism.
We as a particular church continue to testify to the TRUTH by teaching that which has been handed down to the Church, from a continual line of bishops since the time of Christ and His Apostles. It is our fidelity to the ancient Holy texts and Holy Traditions that testifies to the authenticity of our message.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
Thus says the LORD: All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread, your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life. I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David. As I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of nations, so shall you summon a nation you knew not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you. Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
Yes, indeed, everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. However, can you truly say you Love Christ if you do not hold to his commandments or the teachings of His Holy Word?
1 John 5:1–9
Beloved:Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one who testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and the three are of one accord. If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son.
Scripture tells us that the world we live in is merely a temporary habitat, the destination of true believers in Jesus Christ is worshiping Him in heaven, for eternity — Seek Him, while He Still may be found.
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”