Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-Noon          Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment


Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri


Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri


Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax



« Reflections - January 20, 2019 | Main | Reflections - January 6, 2019 »

Reflections - January 13, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

Yes, those are Christmas trees, lights and the Christmas crèche still present in our sanctuary and baptistery areas… even though society and the retailers have left Christmas a distant memory and now busy focusing on Valentine’s Day!

It’s not because we haven’t gotten around to packing up the Christmas décor, but because the Christmas Season in the Catholic Church comes to a conclusion with today’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We Catholics take our time drinking in – and reflecting on – the meaning of the Incarnation, that incredible mystery of God-made-flesh in Jesus Christ. Because there are so many facets of this mystery, we go a week beyond the traditional “Twelve Days of Christmas” (which we reached in the January 6th Solemnity of the Epiphany). 

And so, as we consider the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John… how does this inform our contemplation of the co-existent humanity and divinity of Jesus that we have celebrated throughout this Christmas Season?

Well, since we celebrated the Nativity of our Lord on December 25th, we have come forward in marking the events of some three decades in the life of Jesus Christ – most of in the “family business” of carpentry, growing in wisdom, grace, knowledge of the Torah and intimacy with his Heavenly Father. 

Now we celebrate Christ’s baptism in the Jordan – and the moment that the Holy Spirit descended on him, proclaiming Jesus as God’s beloved Son in whom God is well pleased. This was the event that opened the door to that phase of Jesus’ life that we have come to know as his “public ministry.” John the Baptist speaks of the baptism he administered as being “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Clearly, then, this was not why Jesus approached John to be baptized. Why then did Jesus receive John’s baptism? Some of the words of the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer in today’s Liturgy help us to answer this question: “For in the waters of the Jordan you revealed with signs and wonders a new Baptism, so that through the voice that came down from heaven we might come to believe in your Word dwelling among us, and by the Spirit’s descending in the likeness of a dove we might know that Christ your Servant has been anointed with the oil of gladness and sent to bring the good news to the poor.”

Jesus submitted to John’s baptism precisely to set an example for us: he established “a new baptism” as a template for his followers, he himself made holy the waters of the Jordan in which he was baptized… in turn making holy the waters of all who are baptized in his name.  The descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus as he emerged from the Jordan and the voice from heaven proclaiming him to be God’s beloved Son “set the stage,” so to speak, for Jesus to begin his ministry of proclaiming the reign of God. This too is an example for each of us, in that we too receiving an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we are baptized and confirmed – and, we receive the affirmation of being a beloved son or daughter of God as we are initiated into God’s family.

Indeed, there is much to celebrate as we conclude the Christmas Season!


Grace and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer