Gospel Reflection Jan 9 – Deacon Don
Sunday, January 9
The Baptism of the Lord
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
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 beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”
The Baptism of Jesus is the third important revelation that occurs during each Christmas Season. It also ends the Christmas Season as we return for a few weeks to Ordinary time.
Christmas (Incarnation) — God comes among us and assumes human form. He begins his earthy presence to experience everything we do except sin. He comes to bring the Good News to the poor, the downtrodden, and the sinner. His birth restores the fall of Adam and Eve and represents the eighth day of creation. He renews the earth and all creation and brings the Garden of Eden back to our doorstep.
Epiphany (True Enlightenment) — God opens the door to our True Enlightenment with the Magi’s visit to the baby Jesus. We are all on a journey together with the hope of following the true star of Jesus rather than earthy formed shooting stars that burn brightly for a short time and then fade and fizzle. Once we accept the true enlightenment from the Gospels, we can no longer return by the route we came.
Baptism of Jesus (Solidarity) — Jesus chooses to be Baptized, not to turn away from sin, but to show total solidarity with us. We are in this together, when we accept our Baptism. Jesus had the same feelings and reactions that we have. He can feel our challenges as he lived them as well. The Father says, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” It is an endorsement from the Father for the work that Jesus is about to begin.
Baptism has remained relatively unchanged in the Church for 2,000 years. Take a moment this week to reflect on your own Baptism. It is not something which happened a long time ago and which “made” us Catholics. It is not just a ceremony lasting a few minutes which produces magical effects. Rather, it is the beginning of a lifelong journey. It begins a process for us to grow into the Body of Christ as his sons and daughters — a form of accepting His solidarity with us by living the Gospel message with Him.
Each one of us is called to live the Gospel — to be the salt of the earth, to be a city on a hill, to be a lamp lighting the way for others. We are called to follow in His footsteps. It is a sobering thought that without our cooperation in our actions, much of Jesus’ work will never get done.
Deacon Don Poirier