by Rev. Joseph Adhunga, A.J., Pastor at Holy Spirit & St. Mary Magdalen

The Celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ should remind every Christian about the new birth in spirit and adoption of children of God. The spirit of adoption empowers one to pray with certainty and also confirms the Christian desire to pray or to turn to God at the time of needs. According to St. John of the Cross, our desires can drive us into the arms of God, listening to God. Similarly, difficult situations in one’s can move one closer union with God, or in a contemplative prayer. In the thoughts of John of the Cross, the “dark moments” of our life can lead us into the hands of God. Experience tells us that even those who are not frequent Church goers may start going to Church, prayer groups, reading the Bible or praying attentively. The dark moments in human life should not take one away from God our Father but closer to him.

Difficulties in our life should remind us about Jesus’s agony in the garden praying, begging God the Father to remove the Cross as his destiny. At that sometime, Jesus Christ was open to the will of God the Father.   Openness to will of God the Father means, faith, love and trust. When we pray, our prayers must be deep in faith, love and trust.

What is a prayer? A prayer is a conversation with God, which includes: listening to God’s voice, going to Church, remembering good things God has done, or thinking and meditating with a proper disposition to the will of God. Prayer is a conscious turning towards our deepest identity with God and holding that spiritual identity for a time.

Prayer is also a communal and community spontaneous but the participant is the individual person! The individual person is the one who prays. That individual must have the desire for communal, openness and willingness to accept the will of God. Participation occurs simultaneously in a group prayer, adoration prayer, singing or saying rosary, or at the celebration of the Mass among others.

As one may sense, at the baptism of Jesus, he joined people going out to John the Baptist is a gesture of repentance, not because there is sin in him, but make it possible for us to share in his relationship with the Father as it was announced from heaven, the beloved Son, (Luke, 3: 21 – 22). The celebration of Baptism of Jesus gives us efficacious approach to the God our Father. The baptized sons and daughters should have special confidence to pray.

Reflexionando sobre la solemnidad de la Epifanía del Señor, el Papa Benedicto XVI dijo que: “Los Magos partieron debido a un profundo deseo que los impulsó a dejar todo y comenzar un viaje. Era como si siempre hubieran estado esperando esa estrella “. Nuestra respuesta a la oferta de Salvación del Padre debería ser como la de San Agustín o los Magos cuando celebramos la solemnidad de la Epifanía.

La celebración de la solemnidad de la Epifanía del Señor proclamada por los magos es simbólica: todos los regalos que ofrecieron son significativos: el oro proclama el reinado de Cristo, el incienso es para la adoración y la mirra es reconocer la mortalidad. Todos estos símbolos son para que creamos y deseamos estar con Cristo. San Gregorio el Grande dijo:

Cuando nació el rey de los cielos, los cielos sabían que él era Dios porque inmediatamente enviaron una estrella; el mar sabía que él era Dios porque le permitía caminar sobre él; la tierra lo conoció porque tembló cuando murió; El sol lo conocía porque ocultaba los rayos de su luz.

El deseo de orar y la necesidad de orar son esenciales porque una comunicación más profunda con Dios puede ayudar a uno a creer como los Reyes Magos de que hemos venido a vivir este mundo y nos llevarán a casa de otra manera.