THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
Isaiah 55:1-11, 1 John 5:1-9, Isaiah 12:2-6, Mark 1:7-11
My Beloved, Your invitation is given to all. In You is an abundance of all that is good and it is given freely to all who ask. Nothing the world has to offer is comparable to what we receive from You. When we eat, drink and feast at Your Banqueting table we will never hunger and thirst again. The empty promises of the world offers nothing that satisfies. In You alone is life and the fullness of life is found in Your Word.
When Your Word issues forth from You it accomplishes all that God wills it to and it contains healing and strength, comfort and joy. As long as we are alive and we have breath in our body we can seek You and find You and we can find a refuge in You. When we free ourselves of all the baggage we carry we can receive and be filled with the riches that You so long to give us.
The world weighs us down but the Spirit enables us to soar with You to heaven the place where You dwell and where all desire is satisfied.
1 John 5:1-9
My Beloved, faith is Your gift to us at our Baptism when we vow to turn away from the world the flesh and the devil and we are grafted on to You we become members of Your Body, the Church. In Baptism we are born of God and we receive the victory that You won for us on the Cross.
As children of God, we receive grace and blessing making it possible for us to obey God's will. The will of the Father is that we believe that He sent You into the world so that we who were once dead in sin may receive new life in You.
Through the waters of the Jordan in which You were baptized, through the ignominious death Your suffered and the Blood You shed on the Cross and through the visible Presence of the Holy Spirit who rested over You as the voice of the Father thundered the proclamation that You were His Beloved Son in Whom He was well pleased, we receive the undeniable testimony that You have indeed come from God. You now invite us to share in Your Own divine life by being baptized into You, offering the sacrifice of our own lives in union with Yours and in sharing the same Holy Spirit, we now share Your Life as children of God. We received death through Adam but we receive the fullness of life through You
My Beloved, it is only through Baptism that we receive the gift of faith and are saved. We die to sin when we plunge into the waters and rise to newness of life in Your Resurrection. Strengthened by the Bread which is Your Body and receiving from Your Holy Spirit streams of grace that enables us to obey and fulfill God's commands, we receive the joy that the world cannot give. Our response to such undeserved love freely given to all who receive it we must rebound in glorious praise of You in all the circumstances of our lives. Our praise purifies our desires and You my Beloved dwell in the midst of our praise.
My Beloved, just as our pride seals the gates and bars our entrance into heaven so does humility provide they key that will unfailingly unlock it and permits us to enter in the holy Presence of God.
John knew exactly who he was in the scheme of God's plan and he knew the role he was called to play in it. Although he was a key player as You Yourself said, "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!" But You also affirmed, "Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Mt 11:11) John knew this well and of You he said, "After me comes one who is more powerful than I am; I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. As for me, I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandals.”
Just like John, God has a special mission for each of us; a work that no other can do. It is a work for which God has equipped us giving us all we need to be faithful and fruitful as we fulfill it and do our part in establishing His Kingdom first in our own heart and then in the world.
John recognized You when You came to him to be baptized - the Sinless One clothed in the garment of humility that veiled Your divinity; when You entered our humanity and drank to the dregs the frailty of our human condition, in order that we might share in our glory.
Entering the waters of the Jordan You sanctified the waters of baptism the skies were rend open the Holy Spirit descended on You and earth glimpsed heaven for a brief moment in time as the Father's voice was heard, "You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen."