JAN. 10. BAPTISM OF OUR LORD. MK. 1. 7-11.
Updated: Jul 24
In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said:
‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’
THE LAST SUNDAY OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON: CHRIST’S BAPTISM
The Christmas Season focuses on the birth of The Son of God, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary; - in a humble stable in Bethlehem; - an event that bears witness to the love of God for his people; - even though we are all sinners!
Right from the beginning of the Old Testament the Prophets began to refer to the promised saviour as a “lamb” and, at his Baptism, John announced Christ as “The Lamb of God”; - a lamb who was to be sacrificed on a Cross, in order to make Reparation for our sins; - in the same way that lambs had been sacrificed in the Temple for centuries!
This Divine Plan defies, and goes beyond human wisdom, as it involved the creator of heaven and earth becoming one of us; - and then sacrificing his life on a Cross, so that the way could be opened for each and every one of his sinful creatures to become “Children of God” and “Heirs to His Kingdom?”
And the Church he created continues to remind us, year after year, through its Liturgy, of this Divine plan; - and what we have to do in order to obtain the inheritance that we have been promised. In a nutshell it involves studying and imitating the Life of Christ while motivated by Love!
But Christ also made it clear, because we are sinners, we do not have the ability by ourselves, of attaining this goal, so he provided us multiple means, through his Church, whereby we are able to obtain the assistance of Sanctifying Grace, which he merited fo us by his Passion and Death on Calvary!
These include the Sacraments, the invitation to Prayer, the Gift of Mary His Mother to be Our Mother, the Scriptures, the Lives of the Saints, the Priesthood, the Mass and the Sacrament of His Love; - The Holy Eucharist!
As we reach the end of the Christmas Season we can only gaze in awe at this Divine Plan which has its origins in God’s Love for his people. It should make us fall on our knees and proclaim: “Lord, I am not worthy”; - but it should also motivate us to acknowledge and give thanks for this divine plan, and to strive even more to learn from, and Imitate Christ!
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death: - Amen!
Gospel Acclamation cf John 1:29
John saw Jesus approaching him, and said:
This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.