January 12, 2003
Baptism of the Lord
Reading: Is 55:1-11
here, all you who are thirsty, come to the water!
All who have no money, come!
Yes, without money and at no cost, buy and drink wine and milk.
spend money on what is not food and labor for what does not satisfy?
Listen to me, and you will eat well; you will enjoy the richest of fare.
your ear and come to me; listen, that your soul may live. I will make
with you an everlasting covenant, I will fulfill in you my promises
I have given him for a witness to the nations, a leader and commander
of the people. Likewise you will summon a nation unknown to you, and
nations that do not know you will come hurrying to you for the sake
of Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has promoted you.
Yahweh while he may be found;
call to him while he is near.
Let the wicked abandon his way,
let him forsake his thoughts,
let him turn to Yahweh for he will have mercy,
for our God is generous in forgiving.
my thoughts are not your thoughts,
my ways are not your ways, says Yahweh.
For as the heavens are above the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts above your thoughts.
the rain and the snow come down
from the heavens and do not return
till they have watered the earth,
making it yield seed for the sower
and food for others to eat,
so is my word that goes forth out of my mouth:
it will not return to me idle,
but it shall accomplish my will,
the purpose for which it has been sent.
Reading: 1 Jn 5:1-9
All those who believe that Jesus is the Anointed, are
born of God; whoever loves the Father, loves the Son. How may we know
that we love the children of God? If we love God and fulfill his commands,
for God's love requires us to keep his commands. In fact, his commandments
are not a burden because all those born of God overcome the world. And
the victory which overcomes the world is our faith. Who has overcome
the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus Christ was acknowledged through water, but also
Not only water but water and blood.
And the Spirit, too, witnesses to him for the Spirit is truth.
There are then three testimonies:
the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three witnesses agree.
If we accept human testimony, with greater reason must
we accept that of God, given in favor of his Son.
the Baptist preached to the people saying, "After me comes one
who is more powerful than I am; I have baptized you with water, but
he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. As for me, I am not worthy to
bend down and untie his sandals."
that time Jesus came from Nazareth, a town of Galilee, and was baptized
by John in the Jordan. And the moment he came up out of the water, heaven
opened before him and he saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove.
And these words were heard from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved,
the One I have chosen."
was Jesus baptized? Wasn't John's baptism "for the forgiveness
of sins?" Why should the sinless one, Jesus, descend into the swirling,
filthy waters of repentance? The question is really even more basic:
why should the Son of God have descended at all? Because, this is the
strangeness of Jesus: he is the God who descends. The Creed tells us
that "he came down from heaven." St. Paul's letter to the
Philippians tells us that he not only "took the form of a slave,"
but that he humbled himself, lowered himself even further, "accepting
death, death on the cross." As if that were not low enough, the
Creed proclaims that he "descended into hell," descending
to the lowest possible place of Godforsakenness that the human beings
can reach. On this last day of the Christmas season, we are confronted
with the radicality of the mission of the Incarnate Son: to enter deeper
and deeper into our humanity, to descend lower and lower into our pain,
our desolation, our hells, to search for the lost sheep however far
he or she has strayed, to fill all our darkness with the radiance of
the Beloved Son. In this upwardly mobile world, where one's value as
a person is measured by the heights of success and position one ascends,
the Son of God descending into the Jordan and into the chaos of humanity
offers a counter invitation.
also these beautiful:
Reflections by Fr. Gerry Pierse, C.Ss.R.
Commentaries from Diario Biblio
from Bible Diary
2003 and Daily Gospel 2003
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