January 10, 2016

Jesus' Baptism

January 10, 2016:  Baptism of the Lord

Can you find 19 connections with today?
Legend below
Listen

From Handel's Messiah, for the Isaiah 40 reading
For next Sunday:
Pope Francis homily and Angelus
Through baptism, our faith is handed on across the generations.  Never forget faith is the greatest heritage you can give your children.  At Jesus' Baptism, the Holy Spirit descends like a dove and a voice from heaven says, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”; God reveals Jesus as our saving Messiah.  Through this event, the Spirit frees us from original sin and restores the beauty of God's grace.  The dignity of Baptism, through which we're called to be God's children, brings the responsibility of following Jesus and imitating his obedience, humility, and tenderness.  It's hard when we're surrounded by intolerance, pride, and hardness of heart, but the Spirit makes it possible.
Remember your baptism and reaffirm your commitment to live as Christians and members of the Church.  We're only baptized once, but we're called to witness to that new life every day, sharing the light of Christ, especially with those living in darkness or inhuman conditions.
Read
  • Is 42:1-4, 6-7  Here's my servant; he'll bring justice.  I, the Lord, called you, grasped you, formed you, and set you as light for all, to open the eyes of the blind and to release prisoners and those in darkness.
  • Is 40:1-5, 9-11  Comfort my people; proclaim to Jerusalem that her service is at an end,her guilt expiated.  A voice cries out:  Prepare the way of the Lord!  Every valley shall be filled in,
    mountains made low; rugged land made a plain; rough country, a valley.  All shall see the Lord's glory
    .
    Cry out, Here is your God!  He rules by a strong arm.  Like a shepherd he feeds his flock, gathers and caries the lambs, and leads the ewes.
  • Ps 29:1-4, 9-10  "The Lord will bless his people with peace."  Give the Lord glory; adore him in holy attire.  The mighty, majestic voice of the Lord is over the waters.  The Lord is king forever.
  • Ps 104:1b-4, 24-25, 27-30  "O bless the Lord, my soul."  You are great, majestic, and robed in light.  
    How manifold your works
    !  Earth and sea are full of your creatures; you fill the with good things.  When you send your spirit, they're created, and you renew the earth.
  • Acts 10:34-38  Peter: God shows no partiality; he accepts all who fear him and act uprightly.  God anointed Jesus with the Spirit and power; Jesus did good and healed the oppressed.
  • Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7  The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly as we await the glory of Christ our God and savior.  When his love appeared, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Spirit....
  • Lk 3:15-16, 21-22  All were filled with expectation, asking whether John might be the Christ.  John answered, “I'm baptizing you with water, but one mightier is coming who will baptize you with the Spirit and fire.”  After all had been baptized and Jesus had been baptized, heaven was opened, the Spirit descended upon him like a dove. and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  "With Jesus before the Father":  In the gospel the Father identifies Jesus as his beloved Son, and says he's well pleased with him.  Children of all ages want to be pleasing in their parents' eyes.  Through our baptism we can claim the identity and 'pleased-ness' the Father has for Jesus.  What Jesus has by nature, we have by the gift of adoption.  We are beloved children with whom the Father is “well pleased,” but we can find that hard to accept.  Let the phrase “with you I am well pleased” wash over you, and let the Lord embrace you....
      Baptism of Christ/ Ghirlandaio
      (more Jesus' baptism art)
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Surprise party":  Many expected John the Baptist to be the Messiah; their expectations were set too low.  After Peter saw Tabitha raised from the dead, he expected his visit to the house of Cornelius to be significant, but God exceeded his expectations by pouring out the Spirit on Cornelius and his household.  We should have high expectations, but our loving God will always exceed them, doing more than we can ask or imagine, or understand.  But we must have faith in his promises to establish justice, open blind eyes, free prisoners, heal those in the devil's grip, baptize us in the Spirit and fire, and more.
    • Passionist:  During the Christmas season it's easy to look at the crib as a spectator rather than a participant, but today we see babies, and we, must grow up.  Today we focus on waters of life and death, on choices and responsibilities, and the Spirit that rests on Jesus and us.  We're God's children, made in his image, capable of achieving the impossible through grace.  We don't only remember Jesus' birth but accept the challenge of discipleship, opening ourselves to baptism with the Spirit and fire and living our baptismal call as adults.  What dreams and hopes does God have for me?  May I let God's light shine through me, manifest Christ, and be an instrument of God’s love and healing, advocating for justice, reaching out in mercy, challenging those who promote violence or discriminate, stopping hateful speech and gossip, not stooping to humanity’s lowest common denominator.  May I speak the words, “You are my beloved child; in you I am well-pleased” to those whose have been deaf to them and continue the work of Christmas.
    Jesus came to give us the fire of his Spirit that we may radiate gospel joy and truth to a world in need of God.  Like John the Baptist, we're called to give testimony to the light and truth of Jesus Christ.  Sinless Jesus' humble submission to John's baptism foreshadowed the "baptism" of his crucifixion.  His baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering servant; he submitted himself to his Father's will.  The Father proclaimed his delight in his Son, and the Spirit was also present as he anointed Jesus for his ministry.  At Jesus' baptism heaven was opened and the waters were sanctified.  "Let us be buried with Christ by Baptism to rise with him; let us go down with him to be raised with him; and let us rise with him to be glorified with him" (St. Gregory Nazianzen)....
    Dress legend
    • 'Scales of justice' pin:  my servant shall bring justice (Is 42)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  ...to open the eyes of the blind (Is 42)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  I've grasped you by the hand (Is 42); when you open your hand, they're filled with good things (Ps 104)
    • 'Lights' tie:  I set you as a light for the nations... (Is 42); Lord, you are robed in light (Ps 104)
    • 'Lamb' tie bar:  He leads the ewes with care (Is 40)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord will bless his people with peace (Ps 29)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is enthroned as king forever (Ps 29)
    • 'Chariot' tie pin:  You make the clouds your chariot (Ps 104)
    • 'Owl' tie pin:  You wrought your works in wisdom (Ps 104)
    • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  I've put my spirit on my servant (Is 42); God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10); When you send forth your spirit, they're created, and you renew the earth (Ps 104); he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Spirit (Ti 2); he'll baptize you with the Spirit; Spirit descended on Jesus (gospel)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  The people were asking in their hearts whether John was the Messiah (gospel)
    • Blue shirt:  waters of baptism
    • Sandals (not shown):  John:  I'm not worthy to loosen his sandals (gospel)
    • 'No-ël' pin:  Christmas season ends today