Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
1ST READING - Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 (or Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11)
P S A L M - Psalm 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10 (or Psalm 104:1-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30)
R: The Lord will bless his people with peace.
1 Give to the Lord, you sons of God, give to the Lord glory and praise, 2 give to the Lord the glory due his name; adore the Lord in holy attire. (R) 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the Lord, over vast waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is mighty; the voice of the Lord is majestic. (R) The God of glory thunders, 9 and in his temple all say, “Glory!” 10 The Lord is enthroned above the flood; the Lord is enthroned as king forever. (R)
2ND READING - Acts 10:34-38 (or Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7)
The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered: This is my beloved Son, listen to him.
Luke 3:15-16.21-22 (or Luke 3:15-16)
15 The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. 16 John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” 21 After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
I AM YOURS, O GOD!
A truck driver stopped by a bar in the middle of a long drive. He called the lady bartender and their eyes met. He smiled at her and she smiled back. After a few more furtive glances and some flirtatious exchanges, the woman scribbled her number on a napkin and slipped it under his bottle of beer. The man reached for his wallet to give her his card when he accidentally saw the picture of his wife and children inside.
All of a sudden, the man stood up, left some money and headed back to his truck. Once seated, he shook his head, took the family picture out from his wallet, and placed it right on the front mirror of his truck.
It will make it less difficult to commit wrongdoing when we always have before us our identity, who we are and whose we are. With that picture, that man reminds himself daily, “I am a husband, I am a father, I am my family’s.”
Today is the feast of the Lord’s baptism. At the beginning of His mission, Jesus’ identity was established: “This is my beloved Son. My favor rests on him” (Luke 3:22). His Sonship was always before Jesus. It was the mission that consumed Him. Jesus would declare, “My food is to do the will of my Father” (John 4:34).
At our baptism, we were similarly invested with that undeserved identity as children of God. At the pouring of the water in the name of the Trinitarian God, we were claimed as God’s own.
As a priest, I do not always go around dressed in my Mass vestments. But I always wear a ring with a miniature crucifix on it. I wear a little cross either on my collar or on my chest pocket. I make sure that I have something that will always set before me my identity as a priest of God. I have always followed this simple rule of life. Whenever I feel the need to “conceal” who I am, in whatever way or form, that’s an indication that I am treading dangerous paths. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Have you ever felt the need to conceal who or whose you are? How do you remind your heart of your commitments to God and to your loved ones?
Father, in gratitude I recognize Your Fatherhood over me, and in commitment I renew my childhood before You. Amen.
St. Hilary, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.
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