Monday of the Baptism of our Lord – Prayer of the Week

Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

My brother and I elected to remain in the car. Dad only needed one fluorescent light bulb at Walmart, so we stayed put. He had parked right next to the building, near the garden center. It was a warm day, so the windows were down. We could hear the store intercom. Dad had not been gone long when we heard over the intercom, “We need a broom and a dustpan in aisle 17.” I turned to my brother and said, “What do you want to bet that Dad had something to do with that?” He smiled but thought it could not be so. Pretty soon my father came out fuming. He had picked up the last right-sized bulb in the rack, tipped the carton up to make sure that the bulb was in there only to have it slide out and shatter on the floor. It was in aisle 17.

I thought my brother was going to pass out, he laughed so hard. At this point we all started laughing. It was truly ridiculous. We ask God to make all of us faithful to our calling as His children. If you knew my father, his ability to navigate ridiculous situations, and tell self-deprecating stories, you would know that my relating of that story to you is in fact a sincere homage. He would have loved it.

What does it mean that we are praying to be faithful to our baptismal calling to be God’s children? He is not one for self-deprecating stories or making messes in Walmart. Children are like their parents. I pick up those square tubes with fluorescent light bulbs carefully when I am in a big-box store. God has dealt with us in mercy, kindness, gentleness, and love, even when we did not deserve it; no, especially when we did not deserve that loving compassion.

Being faithful to our calling to be God’s children will involve looking a little like him in word and deed. He feeds the hungry, he cares for the poor, he befriends the lonely, and defends the vulnerable.  I will not ever truly measure up, but if a broken sinner sees a little of God’s love and care in me, I have heeded that baptismal Call today.

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