The sparkling season of Christmas concludes and we gently pack away the creche. This ritual becomes more tender every year. It is a moment to contemplate each witness to the Nativity, to ponder the soul of each shepherd, each magi, of the silent Saint Joseph and Holy Mary.
Then, the Babe. Who are you? How fragile, “image of the eternal God.” What do you wish to reveal by coming to us in this way?
The season ends with the Baptism of our Lord. Msgr. Rulolph Bandas illuminates the aspects of Christ’s baptism revealing what happened at our own baptism: “At Christ’s baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His baptism Christ was proclaimed the ‘Beloved Son’ of the Father; at our Baptism we become the adopted sons of God.”
On the day we mark Christ’s baptism, we place the fragile representation of the infant Christ in its packing for another year. We began the season contemplating you as an infant. Today at the font make us infants again. Trusting, faithful children, rejecting all forms of pride.
In the innocence of that rebirth, let this be a happy new year.
Two songs for celebrating Christ’s baptism and concluding this sweet season:
Matt Maher’s “Behold the Lamb of God,” a beautiful eucharistic prayer.
Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God,” the conclusion of Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ. With a small caveat (one aspect its brilliantly written, sweetly sung interpretation of the Child’s delivery lacks theological continuity with the Church), this is one of my favorite albums of the season we conclude. Its writing, musicianship and love for Christ tell the good news in a way I never tire of hearing.