Dear Friends in Christ,

On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Christ opens to us once more the waters of rebirth and renewal. He draws us into the font of His love and saving graces as we totally surrender to Him.

On this feast, we continue to celebrate God's greatest love for us, His beloved Son, with Whom He is well pleased, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With the Holy Spirit descending upon Him, Christ, as the Anointed of the Father, began His mission, preaching the good news, setting the captives free, healing those who are oppressed.   Christ continues this saving work today - revealing to us His Word, releasing us from the captivity of our sins and healing our infirmities through the sacraments.   Christ affirms that He is indeed the Beloved of the Father, sent to be our Savior, our strength, our courage, especially during these times of turmoil.  He offers us constant renewal through His Divine Spirit, as we approach Him in faith, hope and love.

God reveals His love for us at our own Baptism - the heavens are opened to us, we are given new life as beloved children of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are freed from the death of sin and resurrected anew with Christ.  We are clothed with the garment of the love of Christ as His disciples, commissioned to proclaim His Kingdom of goodness, salvation and love in a world torn by strife, animosities and the peril of covid-19.

And as we gather again as one Eucharistic community of faith, whether at St. Luke's Church or virtually at home, let us take hold of this precious gift of baptism, and thank God for the powerful grace it brings - the seal of eternal life with the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, Who alone can give us true and lasting peace. 

A safe and Spirit-refreshed week ahead, dear St. Luke friends!

In Christ, with gratitude and prayers,

Rev. Jonathan Paala

And a voice came from the heavens, 
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)

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