BAPTISM OF THE LORD-LAW ENFORCEMENT
Acts, Chapter 11, Verse 23-24
23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain FAITHFUL to the Lord in firmness of heart, 24 for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
The church grows because of the grace of God established a principle that Christ accepts all whether gentile or Jew as long as they remain faithful to the beatitudes and the teachings of the church with a firmness of heart. Antioch and Syria were the seedbed of the saints and martyrs in this time as it is now. Be firm.
Plough Monday is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. While local practices may vary, Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 6 January. The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period.
As we begin our working year let us remember that our primary work in the world as a follower of Christ is to do his will for us putting our hand on the plough and looking forward to the year; may all of our days and rows be straight.
No man, having put his hand ... - To put one's hand to a plow is a proverbial expression to signify undertaking any business. In order that a plowman may accomplish his work, it is necessary to look onward - to be intent on his employment - not to be looking back with regret that he undertook it. So, in religion; He that enters on it must do it with his whole heart, He that comes still loving the world - still looking with regret on its pleasures, its wealth, and its honors - that has not "wholly" forsaken them as his portion, cannot be a Christian, and is not fit for the kingdom of God. How searching is this test to those who profess to be Christians! And how solemn the duty of all people to renounce all earthly objects, and to be not only "almost," but "altogether," followers of the Son of God! It is perilous to tamper with the world - to look at its pleasures or to seek its society. He that would enter heaven must come with a heart full of love to God; giving "all" into his hands, and prepared always to give up all his property, his health, his friends, his body, his soul to God, when he demands them, or he cannot be a Christian. Religion is everything or nothing. He that is not willing to sacrifice "everything" for the cause of God, is really willing to sacrifice nothing.
Baptism of Jesus A closing celebration of Christ's initial manifestations to the world through His life and early ministry, especially in His baptism by St. John.
"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near" (Is 55, 6).
These words from the second part of the Book of Isaiah ring out on this Sunday that ends the Christmas season. They are an invitation to go more deeply into the meaning for us of today's Feast, the Baptism of the Lord. In spirit let us return to the banks of the Jordan where John the Baptist administered a Baptism of repentance, exhorting to conversion. Coming up to the Precursor is Jesus, and with his presence he transformed that gesture of repentance into a solemn manifestation of his divinity. A voice suddenly comes from heaven: "You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased" (Mk 1, 11) and, in the form of a dove, the Spirit descends upon Jesus. In that extraordinary event, John saw realized what had been said about the Messiah born in Bethlehem, adored by the shepherds and the Magi. He was the very One foretold by the prophets, the beloved Son of the Father; we must seek him while he can be found and call upon him while he is at hand. In Baptism every Christian personally meets him; he is inserted into the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection and receives a new life, which is the life of God. What a great gift and what a great responsibility!
Blessing of Water
The commemoration of our Lord's Baptism in the Jordan led to a number of impressive blessings concerning water. In Palestine, the river Jordan itself was blessed, with throngs of the faithful immersing in it three times to obtain the blessing, while in Egypt, the whole Christian population and its livestock would show up for the blessing of the Nile and do the same thing. In Byzantium, Epiphany water was blessed in church and then distributed. Rome followed this custom, instituting it on the Vigil of the feast. The formula for the blessing may be found in the Roman ritual.
Renewal of Baptismal Vows
Dear brethren, through the Paschal Mystery we have been buried with Christ in Baptism, that we may walk with him in newness of life. And so, let us renew the promises of Holy Baptism, which we once renounced Satan and his works and promised to serve God in the holy Catholic Church.
And so, I ask you:
Do you renounce Satan?
R. I do.
And all his works?
R. I do.
And all his empty show?
R. I do.
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was created to celebrate police officers. It's a day to thank them for the public service they provide and to show support. It is also a time to commemorate the officers that have died in the line of duty.
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Facts
- As of 2018, there are over 900,000 sworn police officers serving in the United States. Approximately 12% are female.
- According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), for the ten-year period of 2008-2017, the main cause of death of police officers was gunshots. The second one was auto crashes. 1511 police officers died in the line of duty during said period.
- The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a public safety officer in the United States. The awardees are posted here.
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Top Events and Things to Do
- In 1989, during the holiday season, Dolly Craig put two blue candles in her living room window. The purpose was to commemorate her son-in-law, Daniel Gleason, who died in the line of duty, and her daughter, Daniel's wife, who died in a car accident in 1989. The idea was adopted by C.O.P.S (Concerns of Police Survivors) under the name Project Blue Light. You can take part by placing a blue light on your window during the holiday season to commemorate fallen officers.
- Watch a police movie. From infiltration films like Donnie Brasco (1997) and The Departed (2006), to detective films like Se7en (1995) and comedies like Hot Fuzz (2007).
- Wear blue.
- If you see a law enforcement officer, thank them for their service.
- If you have a positive story involving law enforcement, share it on social media.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
II. THE VOCATION TO CHASTITY cont.
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
There are a lot of websites that deal with the subject of chastity. One such is Jason Evert’s author of several books on the subject.
· Monday: Litany of Humility
· Plan winter fun:
 Barnes' Notes on the Bible
 HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II, Sistine Chapel, Sunday, 12 January 2003