Holy Land Pilgrimage

You are My Beloved Son

February 11, 2022

Visiting the places where Jesus walked is a tremendous gift. This experience has been eye-opening and nurturing spiritually and intellectually. Each visit has something unique to offer to deepen one’s relationship with the Lord. One of our visits included the Jordan River. On the bank of the river, we renewed our baptismal promises. I have renewed my baptismal promises in the past. Nonetheless, there was something special about doing it on the shores of the Jordan River.

As I put my feet into the waters of the river, I could not help but think that the same words that the Father pronounced over Jesus, recognizing him as his beloved son (Mark 1:11), were being addressed to me right there. “Angel, you are my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.” This was a truly meaningful experience to me.

All of us are children of the same heavenly Father whose hearts are filled with the same Spirit. I firmly believe that the Father desires to share with us not only on a few occasions but every single day how much He loves us. Before seminary, I was not aware of my baptism date. During my pastoral year, I began to appreciate more profoundly the most important day of my life. The day when I became a son of God. During my internship, the priest would pastorally encourage the parents to celebrate every year the baptism day of their child.

Our baptism enables us to become members of the family of God. Through baptism, we share a special bond with all the baptized. In other words, we are not alone. We partake in the family of God. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for us to keep grounded in this reality. Often, the world tells us, in subtle ways, that God does not love us and that we need to earn the right to belong to his household. This pilgrimage allows the seminarians to strengthen the graces given in baptism and prepare themselves to embrace a call to a life of service in a concrete vocation for the rest of their lives.

Please, pray for us as we enter more deeply into this pilgrimage experience. Also, be assured of our prayers for you. I pray that you may find ways to renew the graces of your baptism and remain rooted in the Lord.

Angel Tarango
Diocese of El Paso

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