Archive for January 11, 2020

Baptism of the Lord

Posted: January 11, 2020 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Anointed Ones: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Baptism of the Lord

Readings:

Isaiah 42:1–4, 6–7
Psalm 29:1–4, 9–10
Acts 10:34–38
Matthew 3:13–17

Jesus presents himself for baptism in today’s Gospel not because He is a sinner, but to fulfill the word of God proclaimed by His prophets. He must be baptized to reveal that He is the Christ (“anointed one”)—the Spirit-endowed Servant promised by Isaiah in today’s First Reading.

His baptism marks the start of a new world, a new creation. As Isaiah prophesied, the Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove—as the Spirit hovered over the face of the deep in the beginning (see Genesis 1:2).
As it was in the beginning, at the Jordan also the majestic voice of the Lord thunders above the waters. The Father opens the heavens and declares Jesus to be His “beloved son.”

God had long prepared the Israelites for His coming, as Peter preaches in today’s Second Reading. Jesus was anticipated in the “beloved son” given to Abraham (see Genesis 22:2, 12, 26), and in the calling of Israel as His “first-born son” (see Exodus 4:22–23). Jesus is the divine son begotten by God, the everlasting heir promised to King David (see Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14).

He is “a covenant of the people [Israel]” and “a light to the nations,” Isaiah says. By the new covenant made in His blood (see 1 Corinthians 11:25), God has gathered the lost sheep of Israel together with whoever fears Him in every nation.

Christ has become the source from which God pours out His Spirit on Israelites and Gentiles alike (see Acts 10:45). In Baptism, all are anointed with that same Spirit, made beloved sons and daughters of God. Indeed, we are Christians—literally “anointed ones.”

We are the “sons of God” in today’s Psalm—called to give glory to His name in His temple. Let us pray that we remain faithful to our calling as His children, that our Father might call us what he calls His Son, “my beloved . . . in whom I am well pleased.”


God has no favourites as we are reminded in tomorrow’s second reading on the feast of the baptism of our Lord. And so we are so lavishly loved and gifted according to His Will for us. And if others have the same gift but are better at it, we must rejoice for it had been put to very good use for our Lord! If indeed we are lacking of anything to build His kingdom, to serve Him or brethen in love, we need only pray and He will provide for all that we need.

All sin is bad whether venial or mortal. Therefore we must avoid any and all sin. For even little ones will always lead to bigger and more terrible ones. If we fall into sin then we must quickly do all that we need to come back into full union with our Lord whether it be as simple as a contrite prayer or going for the Sacrament of reconciliation. There are two sins that I feel we need to guard ourselves against especially those of us who try our best to serve others through discipleship of our Lord Jesus Christ; that is spiritual pride and spiritual envy! For our service becomes a big zero as we end up serving no one but our own egos. What we say and do only drives others away instead of leading them closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray for one another to remain steadfast in our love and service of Him and one another. All for His glory now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 John 5:14-21 ·
If we ask for anything, he will hear us

We are quite confident that if we ask the Son of God for anything, and it is in accordance with his will,
he will hear us; and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us, we know that we have already been granted what we asked of him.
If anybody sees his brother commit a sin that is not a deadly sin, he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner – not those who commit a deadly sin; for there is a sin that is death and I will not sa that you must pray about that. Every kind of wrong-doing is sin, but not all sin is deadly.

We know that anyone who has been begotten by God does not sin, because the begotten Son of God protects him, and the Evil One does not touch him.
We know that we belong to God, but the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
We know, too, that the Son of God has come, and has given us the power to know the true God. We are in the true God,
as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ.
This is the true God, this is eternal life. Children, be on your guard against false gods.

Gospel

John 3:22-30
‘He must grow greater and I must grow smaller: my joy is complete’

Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised. At the same time John was baptising at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water, and people were going there to be baptised. This was before John had been put in prison.
Now some of John’s disciples had opened a discussion with a Jew about purification, so they went to John and said, ‘Rabbi, the man who was with you on the far side of the Jordan, the man to whom you bore witness, is baptising now; and everyone is going to him.’
John replied:

‘A man can lay claim
only to what is given him from heaven.

‘You yourselves can bear me out: I said: I myself am not the Christ; I am the one who has been sent in front of him.

‘The bride is only for the bridegroom; and yet the bridegroom’s friend, who stands there and listens, is glad when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This same joy I feel, and now it is complete. He must grow greater, I must grow smaller.’