i remember the first Good Friday service I attended. I was still learning about the Church and wasn't able to receive Communion. As the priest stood at the back of the church holding the covered crucifix, I was awestruck. He uncovered one of the arms and sang, "This is the wood of the Cross on which hung the Savior of the world." He then moved to the middle of the church, uncovered the other arm and sang, "This is the wood of the Cross on which hung the Savior of the world." He then went to the front of the church, turned to face the people, completely uncovered the crucifix and sang for the third and final time, "This is the wood of the Cross on which hung the Savior of the world."
For me as the priest purposefully uncovered first one arm, then the other, and finally all of it, was for me as if a veil was slowly being lifted and I could see for the first time and yet, was only just barely beginning to understand the love God has for us.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus - and the first public revealing of the Trinity. A major event, yet the veil of understanding is just slightly lifted. We hear the voice from heaven saying "You are my beloved Son," we see Jesus, and we see the dove descending upon him.
Looking back we are blessed with 20/20 vision and volumes of commentary dealing with this small fragment of time.
But I would ask that you place yourself there by the Jordan river, watching and listening to what is happening. You've heard and listened to John preaching repentance and that another will come baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. We know that in Scripture fire is used to represent the presence of God.
As we watch, some unknown carpenter is baptized, he steps out and falls to his knees in prayer, and suddenly you hear this voice and see a dove.
God has chosen to begin to reveal more of His love for us, more about His plan. But who is this man? A corner of the veil has been lifted from our eyes, but our journey is not over.
And this is the way our journey to God progresses. We may walk for years and suddenly God allows us to understand something. The light bulb over our heads lights up and we stand there in awe and wonder.
One of the most common ways God chooses to reveal Himself is through the Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders. Through regular active participation in the three that we repeat often - Eucharist, Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick, God will continue to reveal Himself, His mercy, His love to us.
Take the opportunity to participate in these Sacraments as often as possible and allow Him to continue to reveal His mercy, love and grace in your life.