Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7 or Isaiah 55:1-11
or Acts 10:34-38 or 1 John 5:1-9
Ps 29:1-4,9-10 or Isaiah 12:2-6
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens,
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Good News Reflection: Celebrating Baptism
Why was Jesus baptized? He wasn’t in need of repentance. Why, for that matter, did Jesus do anything at all? Not just to save us from our sins by dying on the cross! There is so much more to Jesus than that.
Jesus united himself to sinners. First he humbled himself to become one of us, a human living with the same needs we have every day. Then he surrendered himself to the baptismal water so that when we are baptized, he is there in the water with us, raising us up to a new life, the holy life, everlasting life.
Everything that Jesus did shows us by example who we are: what the Father created us to be like and how we are to live as children of God. When Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon him and the Father said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” he showed us by example what happens at every person’s baptism.
The Holy Spirit descended upon YOU and the Father said about YOU: “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased!”
Baptismal water is the womb of God from which we are reborn into his family and his ministry. When we bless ourselves with drops from holy water fonts, making the sign of the cross, we renew our baptisms.
In the Jordan River, Jesus was reborn from ordinary life to a life of ministry. Baptism does that for us, too. Is there some repentance you need to do so that you can be reborn more fully into what the Father created you to do – your divine purpose, the ministry he has called you to do?
Let us begin the Church Season of Ordinary Time with a renewal of our baptismal purification and commitment, so that we may be renewed as followers of Christ in holiness and in ministry:
Do you reject Satan?
And all his works?
And all his empty promises?
Do you believe in God,
the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
Next, use the following prayer (or one of your own):
“Dear God, I am a sinner. I sometimes fail to put You first in my life. Forgive me. Change me. Renew me. To demonstrate that I mean it, that I truly want You to be Lord of my life completely, I will do a special act, just as Jesus put his life fully into the Father’s hands by surrendering to John’s baptism and allowing his own rebirth. The act that I choose to do is __________. Amen!”
And God the Father says of you:
“This is my beloved son/daughter; with him/her I am well pleased!”
Questions for Personal Reflection:
What do you know about your baptism? When was it? Where? Who was there? Was there a party? Think beyond the obvious: Who of the saints and angels were there? What kind of party did they celebrate over your baptism – and why?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Share with your group what you know about the people and place and celebration of your baptism. How did this Sacrament affect your life as the years went by? Why does this mean that the Father is pleased with you?
Pour, Lord, the anointing of Your Spirit upon me so Your plans will be fulfilled and I will be an instrument of Your love for my brothers and sisters. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica