Today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany, and tomorrow is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Epiphany commemorates the visit of the three Magi to the infant Jesus. This is the beginning of the manifestation of Our Lord beyond Israel to all the nations. God's Revelation is meant for everyone He has created.
The commemoration of Our Lord's baptism in the River Jordan recalls the institution of this Sacrament. For Him it was the marking point of the beginning of his divine mission. For us, however, it is the Sacrament by which original sin is taken away. In the case of an adult who is baptized, all sins are removed. This Sacrament not only cleanses the soul, but it makes us adopted children of God. We become true sons and daughters of Him by virtue of our being incorporated into the Church which is the Body of his Son. It follows that because of this, we become heirs to his Kingdom. Out Father passes on to us what is his. We have the best inheritance of all.
No one can take this inheritance from us, and God certainly will not go back on his word. Only we, ourselves, can give up our right to Heaven. When a person commits a deliberate serious sin, that person in effect destroys his inheritance. Fortunately, it can once again be restored through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that is, Confession.
Having been given the wonderful gift of faith and Baptism, as well as the other Sacraments, we should naturally desire to share this with others. It's not just, but it's God and with us. To share this faith, we must know it. That is why we should keep up with our knowledge of our religion.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) is the official catechism of the Church. It is a good reference work to have in every household. The brand new Compendium Catechism of the Catholic Church (USCCB, 2006) is a shorter and more simplified version of the same. There is always Eternal Word Television Network on television, on the web, and on radio through the Internet. Also, check out our parish web site -- http://www.st-michael.org -- for more links.
By gaining more authentic knowledge of the Catholic faith, we have greater satisfaction. Moreover, we are better equipped to help our friends and neighbors understand the truths God has given us and so to love Him more and more. The more that people know about God's Revelation, the more can they love Him and be happy in this life.