Jesus’ Baptism – Gospel Reflection January 13th ‘You are my Beloved, my favour rests on you’
Today, in union with the whole Church, we celebrate the great event that is the Baptism of the Lord. Today is also a great opportunity for us to remember our own Baptism.
In film, on television and in literature, there is no shortage of heroes. What exactly is a hero? Heroes are generally very ordinary people, who for one reason or another see a situation that needs changing; they rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done. The legendary Robin Hood is a very good example of a hero. Scripture too is filled with God’s heroes; ordinary people who when filled with God’s own life and Spirit, do amazing things.
When God’s Spirit filled Mary with courage after she was asked to be the mother of Jesus, what was her response? She did something, she moved, she took action. She went to see Elizabeth. Joseph, when he was unsure what to do, was told not to be afraid and filled with the Holy Spirit, did what he was asked to do; he took Mary into his home as his wife. When Elizabeth welcomed Mary, what did she do? Filled with the Holy Spirit, she broke into song and praised God! Her own husband, Zechariah, when filled with God’s Spirit, also broke out in loud praise of God. At Pentecost when the frail and frightened followers were filled with God’s life-changing Spirit, what did they do? They gave up their fear and went out to boldly and with courage to proclaim Good News of the Gospel. All these are God’s heroes; ordinary people who did amazing things because they were filled with God’s life-giving Spirit. When Jesus was baptised, he too like his ancestors and those in own family was changed and called to action; he began his public ministry of proclaiming the Good News to the poor.
When we were Baptised, each of us was filled with the exact same Spirit. We too have God’s life and Sprit within us; nothing can take that away from us. But because we have been baptised into the life and ministry Jesus, we too are called to action. Pope Francis tells us, ‘Because of their baptism, all members of the People of God have become missionary disciples.’ We cannot remind idle or indifferent to the needs of those around us or to the needs of the wider world; we are called to do something for them; we are called to put our faith into real concrete action. The Holy Spirt we received at our baptism strengthens and encourages us when we need help. The Holy Spirit also challenges us to do something rather than nothing!
St. Oscar Romero reminds us of this where he writes:
‘The Bible has a very meaningful expression; the Spirit makes all things new. We are the ones who grow old and we are the ones who want everything do to our aged pattern. The Spirit is never old; the Spirit is always young.’
(Dec. 17 1978)
Today, recall and celebrate your own sacred baptism. You are God’s beloved; God’s favour rests on you. Remember that you are filled with God’s life-giving and life-changing Spirit!
– Br Michael Moore OMI
Gospel of Luke (3:15-16, 21-22)
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptise you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Now when all the people were baptised, and when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
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