Sierra Valley Smokey Sunset

He Comes With Fire (((HOMILY))): Baptism of the Lord

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday January 10, 2021

Living in California, we know better than most, how devastating fire can be. It consumes everything it touches, annihilating, bulldozing, even transforming all in its path. John the Baptist will use this precise image of fire to describe the power of baptism that Jesus Christ will undergo in our Gospel this Sunday. Why? Like fire, our own baptism into Jesus Christ is total, all encompassing, and consuming. God wants all of us, not just pieces of us. He wants to be Lord of all aspects of our lives, not mere crumbs. Once we let the divine fire in, we'll become effervescent and radiant to the world, "shining among them like stars in the sky." (cf. Philippians 2:15)

(This homily was given at an outdoor Mass in Jackson, California, in St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church. While away on vacation, the pastor Fr. Colin Wen, welcomed me to concelebrate and be the guest preacher.)