The Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 13, 2013)

Back in the days when the telegraph was the fastest means of long distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, noisy office. In the background a telegraph clacked away. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.

The young man completed his form and sat down with seven other waiting applicants. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. Why had this man been so bold? They muttered among themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They took more than a little satisfaction in assuming that the young man who went into the office would be reprimanded for his presumption and summarily disqualified for the job.

Within a few minutes the young man emerged from the inner office escorted by the interviewer, who announced to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has been filled by this young man.”

The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and then one spoke up, “Wait a minute – I don’t understand. He was the last one to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair.”

The employer responded, “While you sat there the telegraph has been ticking out the following message: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.'”

When Jesus was baptized, he heard his Father saying “You are my beloved son.” When we are baptized, we may not hear those words, but the reality is that we do indeed become God’s beloved son or daughter. For the remainder of our lives, according to our understanding and capacity, God speaks to us and reminds us of how beloved we are. His voice can be lost in the clackety-clack of modern life, but it is there nonetheless. Baptism gives us all the tools we need to hear that voice and to respond to it.

What a tremendous blessing that is!

Live your Baptism by being God’s smile for someone today!

herb yost reflections

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

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