Sunday, January 12, 2014

Today's Mass Reading - Sunday, January 12, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Thus says the Lord: Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, 7to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners fromconfinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
P S A L M - Psalm 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
R: The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the Lord, you sons of God, give to the Lord glory and praise, give to the Lord the glory due his name; adore the Lord in holy attire. (R) The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the Lord, over vast waters. The voice of the Lord is mighty; the voice of the Lord is majestic. (R) The God of glory thunders, 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
34 Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying: “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 35Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. 36 You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered: This is my beloved Son, listen to him.
Matthew 3:13-17
13 Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” 15 Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”


Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Why did Jesus ask John to baptize Him? Even John could not understand Jesus’ request and was puzzled by His insistence. After all, John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. Only sinners came to the River Jordan. But Jesus? He was, after all, the sinless Son of God!

       In our reflections so far, we have always tried to find answers to the question of who the newborn infant in the manger is and why God became one of us.We should not forget these two questions because, around us, the fictional Santa has replaced the Infant Jesus in the manger.

       The Gospel readings in the past days have provided us with many answers and we can expect that today’s Gospel and feast will not only give us another answer but probably the answer.

       That Jesus, though sinless, joined the crowd of sinners is of greatest importance. He came to save sinners and showed His solidarity with us sinners. We can always approach Him in our sinfulness.

       And then we hear the most important answer to our daily question of who Jesus is. This time, it is God Himself, His powerful voice, that identifies Jesus: “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him, I am well pleased.” By humbling Himself, Jesus had shown that He was ready to fulfill the plan of His Father. After His baptism, Jesus began His public ministry.

       Our baptism was also a beginning. It gave direction to our life — to grow into a disciple of Christ. At baptism, God adopted us and spoke to us the words He spoke at the River Jordan: “You are my beloved son/daughter!”

       As we had to grow up physically, the graces we received at baptism also had to be developed. Baptism is just the beginning of the lifelong process of becoming a Christian. We have to take care that the general line is an uptrend — that in spite of our weaknesses, we move slowly but surely towards the goal Christ has set before us by His humble example. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: When were you baptized? How could you make this day special today? Are you aware that you are in a lifelong process of becoming a real Christian?
Merciful Father, today I thank You once more for adopting me in baptism as Your beloved child. Help me to develop further the graces You bestowed on me when I was baptized.

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, virgin, pray for us.

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