The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord represents both the end of the Christmas Season as well as the First Sunday in Ordinary time. While in our time barely two weeks have elapsed since Christmas, the timeline of our Gospel stories has fast forwarded by over 30 years, presenting us Jesus as adult at the beginning of his public life. We hear the same story told from three different time perspectives.
First in the post-exilic Isaiah, from which we have been reading throughout Advent and Christmas, the prophet provides comfort to a broken people, after the Israelite’s return from Babylonian Captivity in one of the so called Songs of the Suffering Servant … Isaiah prophesied a Messiah who would not be a military commander but one who would suffer and die for the people.
Then Mark in the Gospel describes the Baptism by John of Jesus in the
Lastly in our Second Reading from Acts of the Apostles, Peter tells about Jesus’ public ministry and how He went about healing all those oppressed by the devil beginning after the baptism that John preached. It is one more of the many places in the New Testament where Gentiles become part of the chosen people, when Peter states to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, who is not a Jew, that every nation is acceptable to God.
From today’s message three things can be seen:
1. The Lord humbling himself before John the Baptist is the traditional emphasis of uniting the feast to Christmas. The Son of God humbled Himself to such a degree that He was born in a manger. He humbled Himself accepting the baptism of John even though He was sinless. Christ refused to consider Himself better than anyone.
2. The Lord empowered by the Spirit to begin the mission of the Father signals in Mark the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. This aspect of the baptism is emphasized by the Eastern Church, of both rites, orthodox and catholic.
3. Isn’t it all about Change? … a very current term/concept these days in the
A complete text of the readings at: http://scriptures-my-journey-oflife-andfaith.blogspot.com/2009/01/baptism-of-lord.html
With God’s Love and Blessings,