Monday, January 8, 2018

January 8 - The Baptism of the Lord

The Baptism of the Lord – January 8, 2018

I  Behold my servant with whom I am well pleased.
R –The Lord will bless his people with peace.
II – God anointed him with the Holy Spirit.
A – The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered: This is my beloved Son, listen to him.
G –You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.

+ The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, tells us two astounding facts: that Jesus is the Beloved Son of the Father – and that we had better listen to him; and that after we listen, we are invited to respond to what we have heard by becoming incorporated into his very life, by our own baptism, into the Church that he set up for that very purpose, which makes us astoundingly enough, not only members of his very own Body, but also adopted children of the same Father, with Jesus as our elder brother, and each other as brothers and sisters. Yes, we are God’s children – for real and for sure! There is enough there to meditate on for the rest of our lives!

Our readings today tell us how Jesus’ baptism was not for the repentance of his sin because Jesus never had any sin; Jesus was baptized for us, demonstrating himself the way in which we are to be incorporated into himself. But God the Father used the occasion for a great show light and power when he thundered: THIS IS MY BELOVED SON! LISTEN TO HIM! This is my beloved Son, listen to him! Listen to him and respond to what you hear and you will have everything you need for life here and hereafter: you will be able to have your sins forgiven – when you ask for them to be; and you will be welcomed into eternal life in the Father’s house and the end of your days on earth! All this: for listening and responding: listening to the Scriptures, listening to the homilies, listening to the teachings of the Church which are there for our guidance and our growth and then responding in love!

And it is not to his own people alone that Jesus offers such salvation; but to the whole world – all the nations, everywhere. This is very good news!

May we recall also that the baptized one, whom we recall today, is also the Suffering Servant, the kind, gentle, loving, shepherd of the sheep: who would change everything forever – but at the cost of his own life! Is that even possible for God to die?

Thank you God, for being an amazing elder brother – come to save us; may we be true, authentic, genuine and real adopted sons and daughters of the Father, and brothers and sisters of you to whom we look for help, mercy and forgiveness but most of all: lasting and permanent friendship and peace in your Kingdom!

The Lord will bless his people with peace!

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