Rich, Who Won?

In this old clip, he only says “Hoyas win!” twice.

This afternoon, he said it nine times. It was unbelievably AWESOME!!! Yeah, buddy!!!!

We beat UConn soundly at the beginning of last season. But today’s win at the Verizon Center was one of the sweetest ever. The Hoyas are BACK, people!

…Here is a little homily for the Feast of the Baptism of Christ:

After Jesus had been baptized…a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” –Luke 3:21-22

These were the heavenly Father’s words to His Christ. The Son of God had just been baptized—not because He needed to be cleansed, but rather to give us the sacrament.

The Lord Jesus came up out of the water. The Father looked down on Him with pleasure. This is the greatest of all gazes: the gaze of Almighty God, looking down on earth, pleased with what He sees.

This gaze of the Father’s pleasure is so great because it is our deepest desire and our truest peace.

We might think we want a million things, like a big flat-screen, or lots of power and professional respect, or a good-looking honey.

We think we want this kind of stuff. But what we really want is to please God. What we really want is for the Father above to look down on you and me, and smile.

He smiles on His Christ. He smiles on the one who comes up out of the waters. He smiles on the Head, and He smiles on the members.

Who are the members of the Christ of God? The baptized. We become members of the Body by Holy Baptism. We become pleasing to God by being baptized into His beloved Son.

The world is made up of two kinds of people. I don’t mean mayonnaise vs. mustard people. I don’t mean dog people vs. cat people. I don’t mean Facebook vs. MySpace people. I don’t mean Republicans and Democrats. I don’t even mean Redskins fans vs. Cowboys fans.

The two kinds of people in this world are: 1) baptized people, and 2) people who are not yet baptized. That’s it. Those are the fundamental categories.

Perhaps you have heard that last Sunday a journalist presumed to give a golfer some advice. The golfer has been embarrassed internationally because he did a lot of things he should not have done. The journalist encouraged the golfer to embrace the Christian faith and seek redemption.

When this happened on national t.v., the reactionary keep-your-religion-out-of-my-face crowd went up in arms. They yelled: “You can’t say one religion is better than another!”

In fact, you can. Maybe you have a point that broadcasting personal spiritual advice to a hardened sinner on Fox News Sunday might not be effective. But the fact of the matter is: There IS one religion established by God for the forgiveness of sins—and that’s the religion of Jesus. The way to begin to share in Christ’s religion is to be baptized.

There is no other way. This is not something which we human beings can change. Only God can establish the means of redemption. Only God can endow sacraments with spiritual power.

He has redeemed us and saved us by the Blood of His Son, and the sanctifying power of His Blood touches us for the first time in the baptismal font. There is no other way that we know of to make someone pleasing to God. Holy Baptism is the only way.

Now, before anyone accuses us Catholics of being spiritually arrogant, let’s explain two things.

First, we do not say that everyone who dies without being baptized is certainly damned. We don’t know. Only God knows. We commend everyone to the mercy of God; we hope everyone gets to heaven.

Secondly, we do not say that everyone who is baptized is automatically pleasing to God. Baptism is the beginning. It puts us into the state of grace. But, in order to stay in the state of grace and continue pleasing God, we have to do good and avoid evil.

We have to pray and receive the other sacraments. We have to seek to do the will of God in all things. We have to fight off temptation and do what we can to help others. Being faithful to our Baptismal consecration is a challenge for our whole lives.

Sometimes we do evil and avoid good. Sometimes we sin by commission or omission. Then we need to go back to the Baptismal waters in order to become pleasing to God again.

Who knows how we do that? I am already baptized. I know I have sinned. I want to be pure again, like I was when my mother held me in her arms right after the water was poured over my head in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

What do I do? How can I be pure like that again and know that the heavenly Father is well-pleased with me?

That’s right. Go to Confession.

I examine my conscience and determine what I need to confess. I go to a priest and unburden myself. I make an act of contrition, saying I am sorry and promising not to sin again. I receive absolution. I do my penance and anything else the priest tells me to do.

Than I am good as new again! The baptismal waters are as close as the nearest priest. A trip to Confession is a like a trip to the River Jordan.

And the Father says: “Behold, this is my beloved son, this is my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased!”

One thought on “Rich, Who Won?

  1. 1. Rah, Rah, Britt Hume.

    2. Thank you, Father, for your beautiful words on the Sacrament of Confession. It boggles my mind why we don’t “run not walk” to get back in the state of grace and with a clean soul and a clear conscience experience at least for a while that peace which surpasses all understanding.

    Miss you and pray for you daily.

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