Reflection: The Baptism of the Lord

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Is.55:1-11; Is.12; 2nd Reading – 1Jn.5:1-9; Gospel – Mk.1:7-11]

“MY FAVOUR RESTS ON YOU”

The first reading today tells us that the word of God will always carry out His will, in a way or another.  “Yes, as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.”  And as a matter of fact John, in the second reading, tells us that everything on earth gives evidence of this. Furthermore he says that God’s word and God Himself gave also evidence for his Son Jesus. Is John referring to what we find in today’s Gospel? It is said that a voice from heaven cried out: “You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you”. Wise words and perfect when applied to Jesus. They were, in fact, said to and for Jesus.

We know that Jesus came to John the Baptist, the one who prepared the way for Him, to be baptized by him. Why is it that He was baptized for? If not, as we know, for His remission of sins (He had no sin!), then for what reason?

Jesus wanted to share every single moment of our life. He lived as a model to give sense to every single thing in everyone’s life. In such a way He shared not only the birth with us as we celebrated some days ago… He also shared the Baptism. It is through His Baptism that we are called “Sons/Daughters of God”. It is through His Baptism that we are called “Beloved”. It is through His Baptism that we are told that “God’s favour is resting on us”. Thus, if through His life He became one of us and shared our human existence, through His Baptism He made of us God’s Sons and Daughters. And we became so not only through what He did, but through what we do when we believe.

Thus Jesus is an evidence of what the Father said at the beginning of time – that He will not leave us alone but will always be with us. At the same time He is also an evidence of what the “Sons/Daughters of Men” could be if they are united with the Father; “Sons/Daughters of God, the Beloved, on who rests God’s favour” as Jesus himself, the first one and our model, was addressed during His Baptism.

Lord, You chose to be Baptized with water by John the Baptist, your precursor who, though powerful himself in the eyes of his followers, announced you as more powerful than him. Through the water of your Baptism, you created our Baptism with the Holy Spirit, through whom we are called “Beloved”. Give us the strength Lord to appreciate this gift – the Holy Spirit – and to believe in Him. Give us the wisdom to learn how to give evidence of His presence in our life and above all Lord, give us the knowledge to keep Him in us!  Thank you Lord!

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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