January 12, 2014

Baptism of the Lord

January 12, 2014:  Baptism of the Lord

  • Is 42:1-4, 6-7  Here is my servant; he shall bring justice.  I, the Lord, have 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.
    Wordle: Readings 1-12-14
  • Ps 29:1-4, 9-10  "The Lord will bless his people with peace."  Give to the Lord glory and praise; adore the Lord in holy attire.  The mighty, majestic voice of the Lord is over the waters.  The Lord is enthroned as king forever.
  • 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.
  • Mt 3:13-17  Jesus came to John to be baptized.  John protested:  “You need to baptize me.”  Jesus replied, “Allow it; it's fitting.”  After Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened, he saw the Spirit of God coming upon him, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son...”
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  In Jesus' baptism, humanity and divinity are united, and Jesus blessed the waters.  We must be transmitters of the faith; it's the most beautiful legacy we can leave.
  • Saturday homily:  A priest's strength is in his close, growing relationship with Jesus, from the heart; it saves us from worldliness and idolatry that makes us smarmy.  We're sinners, but if we seek the Lord in prayer, we're good priests.  Whatever you may lose, don’t lose your relationship with Christ!
Spiritual reading:  Use lectio divina to listen to the Lord in his word and let the Spirit transform you:  read God’s word in prayer and allow it to renew us.  Study the text to determine its message, then discern how it speaks to your life.  Start with the literal, or else we can fit the text to what's convenient or in line with our own thought.

In God's presence, while reading the text, ask, “Lord, what does this say to me?  What do you want to change in me?  What troubles me about the text?  Why am I not interested?  or What do I find pleasant in the text?  What moves or attracts me and why?”  When we try to listen to God, temptations arise, such as feeling burdened and to turn away, to think about what the text means to others and avoid applying it to our own life, to water down the text's meaning, or to think God is asking for a decision we're not yet ready for.  If you stop taking pleasure in the encounter, you'd be forgetting no one is more patient or understanding than God who always invites us but doesn't demand full response if we're not yet ready.  God only asks us to look at our life before him and be willing to grow, asking what we can't do on our own.  (3.III, 152-153, pp. 121-122) 
    • Creighton:  God calls us relentlessly by grasping us by the hand and leading us out of confinement.  Jesus asked for baptism by John, submitting to him and to our neediness, our thirst for repentance/forgiveness/acceptance.  Will we accept the self-gift of such a humble God?  We can take our hesitation to God who gives all to be God-with-us and never tires of asking us to accept His self-gift.
    • RC.net:   Jesus' baptism foreshadows the “baptism” of his death on the cross.  Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission.  Jesus submitted to his Father’s will.  By our baptism we're buried with Christ to rise with him.  Lord, give us your humility and shine through us.
    • Universalis:  St. Aelred of Rievaulx, Cistercian abbot with gift of friendship.  St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, religious.  St. Benet Biscop, monk.
    Roamin' Catholic report wasn't ready for this post; see Tuesday.

    Attire (using the psalm's word)

    • Blue shirt (and windbreaker):  waters of baptism
    • "Scales of justice" pin:  servant shall bring justice (1st reading)
    • "Keyboard with dove" tie pin:  God anointed Jesus with the Spirit (2nd reading); Spirit came upon Jesus (gospel)
    • "Star" tie pin:  star guiding the magi (Epiphany gospel)
    Dress your life!

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