Sunday, January 11, 2015

Blog # 431 The Baptism of the Lord b

         Blog # 431 The Baptism of the Lord  b
              Our faith in the presence of the Risen Christ among us is a gift of the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus and sent by the Father in Jesus' name. (Jn. 14: 16, 25,26). The Spirit calls to our minds and clarifies in history the content of the message Jesus was sent to bring and live.  We want to know what it means for us to hear Jesus say to the  Father "as You have sent me into the world so I have sent them into the world" ( Jn. 17: 18), and when He says to the  Apostles "I solemnly assure you, the person who has faith in me will be true to my word, and my Father will love him; we will come to him and make our abode with him."  (Jn. 14: 23).  And the words of Paul: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me". (Gal. 2: 19).  Then the very significant text of the prayer Jesus offered the Father during the Last Supper in which He prayed that all who would come to believe in Him would be united, so the world would know you loved them as  you loved me. (Jn, 17: 22,23).
              We celebrate today on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord our faith in the Eternal Word beginning His public ministry of fulfilling the Father's will for Him on earth. That was the past tense of it.  That we read of in the  Bible. In the present tense we recall the baptism of the Lord, reflect upon its meaning, and with the same gift of faith invite the Risen Lord to fulfill that same Father's will IN USThat we live, to the glory of Jesus.

               "And a voice came from Heaven, saying, "This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."  Today's Feast has some of the elements of the experience of inaugurating a President, the swearing in of a judge, the presentation of a diploma at a college commencement, or the presentation of a driver's license to a person who has just passed the required exam.  Each of the persons in these incidences is recognized as officially qualified for some particular task or office. So it is with Jesus in today's Feast. 

                Jesus was ready to remain in the  Temple at the age of thirteen, but this was not the  Father's will for Him.  So He waited and willingly went back to Nazareth to live and learn what the Father had prepared for Him in the home of Mary and Joseph.  But now His time had come.  And the Father expresses His approval and great love for Jesus, granting His official credentials for being the Savior of all. This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him.

              According to the Father's plan and desire, the life and ministry of Jesus is to continue on through history in the life and  ministry of  Christian believers.  It is not just that Jesus has gone on before  us to set an example for us to follow.  Rather He lives in us to accomplish  the father's will.  Through faith and  Baptism we are officially sent into the world to help make it holy. The Father
invites each of us to be the object of the same declaration we celebrate in the life of Jesus today on the  Feast of His baptism.  THIS IS MY BELOVED!  In our Baptism and in our continuing to lead a  Christian life we become the answer to the prayer of Jesus that the Father would love us as He loved Jesus.  Here we see the importance and the application of John 17: 20- 23.  " I pray for those who will
believe in me, that all may be one in us...I have given them the glory you gave me that they may be one, as we are one - I living in them, you living in me  - that their unity may be complete.   So shall
the world know that you sent me, and that  you loved them as  you loved me."   Our calling and identity as Baptized believers is to live in union with Jesus as beloved by Our Father.


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