---A Catholic Community Services representative will be speaking at all the Masses this
weekend (January 14 & 15) at Prince of Peace about the joy and happiness that many
people have and continue to experience through the help of C.C.S. (Catholic Community
Services) in the local office here in Kitsap County. A big word of THANKS for
everyone who had contributed, financially, in the past to the effort of C.C.S. work; please
be generous to this cause again this year. THANK YOU.
---In today’s Gospel passage (Jn 1:29-34), the figure of John the Baptist appears once
again almost as if to send us back to Advent … to look carefully at the evidence of the
Baptizer and of Jesus, and to make some decisions about our own lives. John’s gospel
text shows no knowledge of the tradition about the kinship of Jesus and John the Baptist.
In this Gospel passage, John’s baptism is not connected with forgiveness of sins; its
purpose is revelatory, that Jesus may be made known to Israel. For John, a simple
chronicle of events is never enough; the important thing is that events excite a personal
testimony about Jesus.
The evangelist John is very intent on counteracting a movement that regarded John the
Baptist as superior to Jesus. He does not narrate the baptism event; instead, he puts the
meaning of the baptism into John the Baptist’s testimony. He has the Baptizer publicly
profess “The reason why I came … was that Jesus might be made known.”
Baptism gives us the grace of giving witness, and sometimes that might lead to the
ultimate witness of “laying down our very lives” because we are associated with and
marked by Jesus Christ. The era of martyrdom is not something of the past. It is still
taking place today. In fact, the last century was one of incredible Christian martyrdom.
As Christians, we enter the Second Week of Ordinary Time and recalled that
after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan River and the Holy Spirit
descended upon Jesus in bodily form like a dove and he heard the voice from heaven:
“You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased”, Jesus was led by the Spirit to
the desert for forty days and then back home to Nazareth where began his public ministry
of proclaiming the “Kingdom of God”.
Just as the Spirit called Jesus to new ministry, so now the Spirit was calling his
disciples and all of us. Some would be called to proclaim the Good News beyond their
local communities and others would be called to serve local communities in various roles.
But all calls came from the same source, “the Spirit”.
---January 20 & 21, a “March for Life” will be held in Washington D.C. and was the
fiftieth anniversary of the U. S. Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade. The Bishops of
our nation have asked all Catholics to fast and do extra penance as small reparation for
the millions of abortions committed in our country, and for the legal approval of these
While, we Christians can and ought to build a pro-life culture through many avenues, and
not only through changes in law, it remains the case that as Christians and as Americans,
“in God we trust”. God expects us to make needed changes in our world, but we can
only do so through God’s truth and grace.
---HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR 2023 (Chinese New Year 4721) … So, if you have a
friend who is Vietnamese, Chinese or other Asian Cultures who celebrate Lunar New
Year; the year of the Cat (Chinese tradition – Rabbit) will be Sunday, January 22, 2023.
Please wish him/her a Happy, Good Health and Prosperous New Year. Lunar New Year
can be anywhere between mid-January to mid-February every year.
Fr. Phuong Hoang