By Fr. Timothy Kroh on the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost:
Readings (Track 2): http://www.lectionarypage.net/YearB_RCL/Pentecost/BProp6_RCL.html
In the Name ✠ of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Well, please allow me to apologize once again for the wrong readings. It’s a minor issue, though, for us today, because we heard some wonderfully familiar scriptures. Let me just remind you of some of the words we heard from St. Paul today: “If anyone is in Christ, they are,” meaning they, you, are “a new creation. The old has passed away; everything new has come.”
This is such a wonderful thing to hear today, on the day we baptize Cody Joseph, this precious child of God, whose family reminds me of the Holy Family, coming into the temple, Mary, Joseph, and the Baby, to offer and dedicate the Child to God, and that is what they do today, in the sacred vows they’re about to make on his behalf. Vows that we will all, of course, as you know, be supporting them in. And now they will become a holy family dedicated to God, ministers of Christ, and of his church, as are all of we.
If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. Everything old has passed away, see, everything new has come. The vows of Baptism that we will renew in a few moments show us a pattern of life we can live that makes a new life, a life not imprisoned by the old ways of sin and greed and self-interest, of denying the humanity of others, but of honoring it, of loving and serving God and our neighbors as ourselves. When we live these vows we live a new life; we are a new creation.
All of you, every day, are meant to live your life, and me too, in this wonderful new way of love. God chooses all of us for this way, and he entices us through the doors, so to speak, until our hearts are caught up in his love. “Everything old has passed away, see, everything is made new.” I think it’s a wonderful holy coincidence, maybe not a coincidence at all, that the name of this child is Cody Joseph, which is a family name, but also one of the greatest patron saints you could have, and that this, on the secular calendar, is Father’s Day and so Alan celebrates his first Father’s Day and Cody under the patronage of St. Joseph. And we should really all look to St. Joseph for this pattern of living. We at the Church of the Advent honor Our Lady almost every Sunday by praying the Angelus, but we should also remember St. Joseph, whose shrine we have and where some of you make your devotions to him.
He was a Saint called by God to live a new way of love, to not be self-interested but to be concerned about others. God gave him the most important ministry of being guardian and protector and companion of the Mother of God and the Son of God: Jesus Christ, our Lord. Joseph gave of himself every day in ways the scriptures rarely mentioned, but we know must have been true. Those of you who are fathers and mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, brothers, sisters, whether by blood or by faith, we know what it means to love others in that way of self-giving and self-sacrifice. To want their good as much or even more than our own. This is what we learned to do and be in the promises of Baptism. And so, in a few moments, as we renew our vows, remember, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. Everything old has passed away. Behold, everything is made new. Amen.
Holy Baptism: https://www.bcponline.org/Baptism/holybaptism.html