Gospel Reflection for Sunday January 10th 2021 The Baptism of the Lord
Having celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord, we now mark and honour his Baptism. The word ‘Epiphany’ means to show or reveal. Jesus was shown and revealed as the Saviour and light for the whole world and all peoples for all time. Tradition suggests to us that after his baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, Jesus began his public ministry of healing, teaching and proclaiming the Good News of Gods Kingdom especially to the poor. The Baptism of Jesus then is another epiphany or revelation of God’s power and presence in and through the person of Jesus.
This is first highlighted in the reading from Isaiah; ‘The Lord says, here is my servant, whom I strengthen, my chosen in whom I delight. I have filled him with my spirit.’ By the time of Jesus people have seen this as a description of the long awaited and promised Messiah; the chosen One of God. In the gospel, we are told that when Jesus emerged from the water, that ‘The Spirit, like a dove, descended on him, and a voice from heaven said, ‘You are my Beloved; my favour rests on you.’ This then is the moment of epiphany when the true identity and nature of Jesus revealed, not only to those who were present but to each of us today. Jesus is the Chosen One of God for all time and for all people. To see the face of Jesus is look into the very eyes of God. To hear Jesus speak is to hear the very voice of God. Jesus is called intimately by God and confirmed as the Saviour of the world. Jesus not only knows who he is, he also knows from where he comes and to whom he belongs. His identity and mission comes from God, not himself. Jesus is Emmanuel; God-is-with-us.
We often spare no expense in remembering and celebrating our own or others birthdays with presents, gifts, cards and parties. These are very good and proper things to do as we recall the day our friends, family members and loved ones were born and came into our lives. When they were born they became part of and changed our family forever. As I write, I think of my own two young nieces, Sophie and Olivia, who were born in the last few years. As a family, we can’t imagine our lives without them and the joy they bring us every day.
I wonder though why we don’t recall, remember and celebrate our own and others Baptism when we became sacred and royal members of God’s family. Through our baptism, whether as a child or an adult, we became Sons and Daughters of God, Brothers and Sisters of Jesus and each other. Through our Baptism we become members of God’s Family and Household. At the very moment of our baptism, God spoke the very same words to us that Jesus himself heard; ‘You are my Beloved; my favour rests on you.’ If we only appreciated and realised the power of these words. Each of us is personally created and loved by God. This is what God says to each of today and every day; ‘Do not be afraid, I call you by your name; you are mine. You are precious in my eyes and I love you.’ (Isaiah 43.1,4)
Today, take out some photographs of your own or your children’s baptism. Remember, recall and celebrate this most sacred of moments in your life.
– Br Michael Moore OMI
|Gospel Sunday January 10th||Mark 1:7-11|
‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you’
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