You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.
Because it was the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Fr. Steve began Mass with the sprinkling rite. At the start of his homily, he wanted to ensure that all of those who were at Mass had felt the Holy Water come upon them.
Fr. Steve recounts the profound experience of having been at the priests retreat at the John Paul II Healing Center in Florida (which included watching movies and go-cart racing!).
Because of our baptism we a beloved children of the Father. The Lord does not look at us as though we were merely exasperating sinners who need to be fixed, but as sons and daughters. Underneath all of our sins and our fantasies is a true desire to be loved, affirmed and valued.
Fr. Steve gives a condensed summary of the plot of the movie The Lion King and shows how it is symbolic of how Satan feeds us lies about ourselves and God and convinces us that our identity is other than what God has made us. The movie also shows how when we take on our true identity we have victory over the world, the flesh and the Devil.
Fr. Steve shares how the experience of the retreat has widened his heart to love us more with a fatherly love. But this is only a small reflection of how much God the Father loves us. He exhorts us to be humble before the Lord, to be little, not to stand on our shaky dignity, but to rest in our identity in the Lord. And lastly we are encouraged to be like children, to laugh, to have fearless trust in the Lord, our true parent. Because your hope is in Christ you will not be disappointed.
In his post-communion comments Fr. Steve reminds us to seek healing, so that we can enter into our true identity and dignity as children of the Father.