This week the readings are from the prophet Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-1, Psalm 104, Paul’s letter to Titus 2:11-14; 3:2-7, and Luke’s Gospel 3:16-16,21-22. There is also a chance for all readings but the Gospel to come from Year A of the Cycle Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7, Psalm 29, and Acts 10:34-38.
At our Baptism we are given the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. The gifts are awe and wonder, wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa says that the seven gifts correspond with the seven Virtues. The fruit of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity. These are what Paul tells the Galatians are all attributes to living a Christian life. It would be wonderful if we remembered all of these, sure we are told to memorize them when we get Confirmed but many of us forget what they are by the time we are anointed. Yet we should strive to live out the fruit and gifts of the Spirit in our lives.
We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is living in the world today and our heavenly father says the same words as he did at the Baptism of the Lord as he does at our own baptisms. “You are my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” This is some earth shattering realization that someone out there is pleased with you just as you are. It’s like Fred Rogers said “I like you just the way you are.” This is how we need to go out into the world and share this message “I like you just the way you are.”