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Scripture Reflections - Jan. 13
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Isaiah 24:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Luke 3:15-16

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Today marks the end of the Christmas season, and the official beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. As Jesus approaches the Jordan river, his cousin, John the Baptizer, is performing the immersion of hundreds of people heeding his fiery call to repent of their sins.

Jesus asks John for baptism, but John is reluctant. He has just preached to the people that, while he baptizes with water, one worthier than himself is coming who will baptize them with water and the Holy Spirit. However, he baptizes Jesus, and then, as the sky is torn asunder, the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove, and the Father is heard saying, “You are my Beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Jesus is launched on a life of teaching, compassionate healing, and working amazing miracles. How is it possible that the religious authorities will reject him, and condemn Him to a vicious death?

Not even His glorious resurrection will convince the religious leaders that He is the Son of God.

This feast, along with Easter, are the two most ancient feasts in the church.

Jesus’ Baptism is the symbol of our salvation. It connects us closely with Jesus’ baptism of blood on the cross. The baptism of Jesus today symbolizes the salvation of all the world.

When we are baptized, we are connected to Jesus, and are invited to a life of nourishment and growth in the Sacraments.

As Pope Banedict XVI has taught, we are clothed with Him, commited to listening to Him, believe in Him, and gently follow Him, doing His will.

The baptism of Jesus gives powerful and joyful meaning to our own!

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