Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
January 12, 2014
IS 42:1-4, 6-7
In this week’s first reading, we return to the prophet Isaiah for the first time since Advent. After such a long time of being in exile, the Lord shows his deliberate favor upon the Jews. God is showing that the He had not abandoned them, and God is calling them to a very specific and unexpected mission.
PS 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
R/ (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The second reading from Acts show an unexpected new precedent for the Jews. Here we see Saint Peter, a Jewish Christian convert, and a pagan centurion making an unexpected team.We see that there is a deliberate statement to allow all people to be eligible to hear and receive the Good News. Saint Peter states in a way that helps us know that this should never be an issue again.
This week’s Gospel from St Matthew is the centerpiece of today’s celebration. We celebrate the Baptism of the Lord here to mark the official end of the Christmas season. In the Catholic Church, we celebrate infant baptisms, but it is important to note that Jesus was not baptised until he was 30 years old and beginning His public ministry. While this is certainly not closely related by time to the Nativity, there is a strong symbolism in His mission and reason for the Incarnation.
John the Baptist understandably feels unworthy to Baptize Jesus, but Jesus reassures him that it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus doesn’t get baptized to remove and sin, because He is already sinless, but He does it as a model for us and to take on the sin and death that we leave and encounter at our own baptism. We have been blessed and called from our own baptism. Today is a vivid reminder that it is not a thing of the past, but a living Truth we are called to live and share with the world.
Reflection done by Cristobal Almanza – @SoulPainter
Theme song – Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc
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