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Casa Faith Formation Newsletter

January 9, 2024

Here's What's Coming Up:

In Spotlight:

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The Christmas season was nice while it lasted, but with The Baptism of the Lord yesterday, we have entered back into Ordinary Time:

Mk 1:7-11

This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: 
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water; 
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee 
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.

On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open 
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, 
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”



Upon Reflection:  Did you know that you are a beloved son or beloved daughter of God with whom God is well pleased?  If you were baptized with water only, you may not know this at all (by “know,” I mean know in your gut, not in your mind).  But if you were baptized with the Holy Spirit, you have a deep awareness of this.  In fact, I think that is the definition of what it means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit:  awareness of your own and everyone else’s divine sonship/daughtership. 


Now, this is clearly central to what Christianity has been trying to say to the world, and it is definitely worth teaching our young and reminding ourselves when things seem bleak.  However, it would be a mistake to stop our contemplation of this reality with a simple “God loves me, and that’s all that matters.” 


You see, if yesterday's Gospel is telling us anything, it is telling us that a ritual with water does nothing within itself.  It should be a sign that we now “see heaven open before us” –  that is, not only do I know that I am loved, but I know everyone else is too! 


Let me try to say this in another way that challenges many modern day Christians’ understanding of baptism:  Being dunked in water in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit is not what saves us.  It is simply a ritual.  What saves us is the attitude of connectedness that we take on as a result of being aware that all are beloved sons & daughters of God! 


That’s what it means to be baptized in the Spirit and consequently what it means to be saved.


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Donna Kinzie

Family Ministry

480 355-0344

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Cheryl Hentz

Youth & Young Adult Ministry

Young Family & Infant Baptism Ministry

480 306-4817

Director of Faith Formation

480 355-0359

Fred Mercadante

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