Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sunday Reflections - Baptism of the Lord

Sunday Reflections (Sunday 9 Jan 2011)

Baptism of the Lord (Mathew 3: 3-13)

Last Sunday we commemorated the baptism of the Lord. In the Gospel Mathew clearly highlighted the event where Jesus was reluctantly baptized by John the Baptist. As Jesus was baptized, Mathew described how the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descending upon Him as a dove. There was a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

This scene as described by Mathew illustrated the concept of Holy Trinity, which is one of the basic tenets of our faith. As children before this used to be an interesting story told to by our priests and catechism teachers, which illustrated the might of the God of the Universe.

For all of us who have been baptized as infants, that event in our lives was more of a ceremony that officially admitted us into the Church. Only later did we realize that it was a ceremony that made us members of Christ’s body. Whether we remember the day or not, it is time we reflect on its meaning, the meaning of being baptized into Christ, into His death and rising and by doing so becoming part of His mission.

Jesus’ baptism was the start of His public ministry, His dedication to doing the work of His Father. So to it should the beginning our public life to do His will in the world, amongst the the people we live.

A good friend of mine in his fifties is so frustrated at the evils in the world that he strongly believes that Jesus will come back very soon to save the world once and for all. He gets all sorts of dreams and even visions which he interprets as signs of Jesus’ impending return to mete out his untainted judgment to punish the bad and reward the good.

It is unfortunate that many of us, like my friend, even as grown up-adults, see the baptism of Jesus as miraculous vision of God coming down to us in majesty and power to put an end to all our woes. Many still wait for the coming of God in the form of the Holy Spirit to work miracles to cure the ills of society. If that is so we are badly mistaken and our wait will be just in vain.

God is already here among us in the form of fellow humans and the Holy Spirit is already within us as our intellect, energy and as our conscience. He has already equipped us with all that we possess to be his miracle workers among men and it is time we realize that.

It is time for us to seek Jesus in the people around us, especially the poor, sick and lonely.It is time to seek Jesus in those oppressed and marginalized. It is time for us to seek Jesus in those who disagree with us and even those who hate us. It is time for us to seek Jesus in our enemies.

As we renewed our baptismal vows last Sunday let us pledge to go forward to be the miracle workers to alleviate the pain and sufferings in our midst, be it in our selves,our family or society as a whole.

The Gospel reading for the week is as below.

Matthew 3:13-17

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?

And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him.

And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him.

And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

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