By Deacon John Cronin:
Today, Kellan Murphy Ryan will join the baptized.
He becomes one of the “children of God in Christ Jesus.”
We are all one in Christ Jesus. So what does that mean? [pause]
Jesus tries to explain this to his Apostles, but it’s not really sinking in yet.
He tells them that – yes – he is the Messiah, but not like they imagined.
Many hoped for a political Messiah, who would defeat Roman occupation and make Israel a great earthly power.
But this view of an Emperor Jesus holds a fundamental flaw:
power is not for us to grab for ourselves – especially by using the Son of God to do it.
The only power that lasts is the power of God. And God is Love.
It is very easy to forget God.
We are very eager to control our own little worlds.
But God gave us the world.
He gave us our life.
He gave us our capacities to love.
And ————– he gave Katelyn and Paul, the amazing gift of little Kellan.
Jesus tells the Apostles the only path to true and lasting life is by denying ourselves.
The Psalm today is quite beautiful:
It tells how the human heart can only be satisfied under the shadow of God’s wings.
Under His loving power.
We are a people who were born thirsting for God.
Because we are made from God’s love.
And it’s not just our souls thirsting for heaven.
It’s our bodies: here and now, in the flesh:
pining and thirsting “like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.”
Today, that thirst for God, has gathered us together in this place.
Today, we deny ourselves petty and passing pleasures that only leave us more thirsty and empty. We come – as Kellan comes – to the font of everlasting life.
We deny our old selves, isolated from God by sin and selfishness and pride.
We come here to be fed the food that lasts forever: the Body of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said: “whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Now, none of us have a death wish.
Jesus is telling us how to live. How to really be alive.
We’ll never be truly satisfied… …never filled with lasting joy,
until we are all-in. Until we commit ourselves entirely to the Love of God.
Jesus is our bridge to that love.
We all know this in our bones.
Just think about Kellan’s parents.
Paul and Katelyn, like any parent, wants the best for their child.
What parent in their right mind …
What parent touched by the love of God…
Wouldn’t do anything, give anything — even their own lives –
if it meant their beloved child would thrive in the world.
That is the love of God.
The unrelenting devotion us as his beloved children.
He would give anything, even his only begotten Son on the Cross,
so that we may truly live.
In baptism, we join Christ, flesh and spirit. Body and soul.
Our old thirsty selves are washed away.
The waters of baptism quench our thirsts.
Together, we are one body. We have put on Christ.
We live for the love of God.
He gives us all that is good in our lives.
Katelyn and Paul bring Kellan to the life-giving water today.
Kellan will join us in putting on Christ.
In Christ, no cross we must bear in this world, can ever rob us of our true happiness.
In Christ, when Kellan begins to thirst,
he will have his parents —– his Godparents —– and all of his brothers and sisters in this Church,
to help him know from where he can drink and be satisfied.
Praise be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.