This afternoon I’ll be preaching and baptizing in the aldea of El Zapote Santa Rosa. Praying over today’s readings I find them pertinent for baptizing new members of our church.
Hebrews 8: 6-13
Mark 3: 13-19
Here are some notes, in English, for my homily.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls his twelve apostles – by name. We just called these young children by name – to welcome them into the Body of Christ. They do not come as a group, nor as anonymous. They come as persons with a name.
And they will be welcomed into a community, which experiences the new covenant that the Letter of the Hebrews speaks of.
They will be welcomed and baptized into Christ, not only to free them from sin but also to welcome them into a new relationship with God. As the prophet Jeremiah recalls the promise of God: “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
It is a relationship of deep intimacy. God’s way, God’s law – the law of love – will not be an external commandment constraining them. It will be written in their hearts and when they live it they will be free.
We need to welcome these young people. But, even more, we need to live that covenant, that law of love, so that they can grow in love.
We need to be people of love, of solidarity, deeply in love with Jesus and open to love as he did – even loving our enemies. We need to have a community here in El Zapote where these children will see the New Covenant at work, where all know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest.
And so, we will now baptize these young people into Christ Jesus, so that they may God’s people and show forth signs of God’s Reign here in El Zapote.