January 9, 2017

Jesus' Baptism

January 9, 2017:  Baptism of the Lord

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below
From Handel's Messiah, for the Isaiah 40 reading
Carolyn's hymns for Jesus' baptism
Pope Francis Angelus
As Jesus came to be baptized, John tried to stop him, saying Jesus should be baptizing him.  But Jesus came to close the gap between God and man, to fulfill God’s will, and to show God is close to us, his children.
As Jesus was baptized, the God said “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” and a dove was seen as a symbol of the Spirit.  This is the moment Jesus began his public mission, as a humble servant.  All disciples must use that same missionary style, not shouting or scolding, not with arrogance or imposition, but firmly and gently by example.  May the Lord warm our hearts to be able to help those who live on the streets.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
    • Creighton:  Jesus heard the ordaining words of his being the “beloved,” words we long to hear from around and within.  We pray to hear, listen, and believe the message and Messenger who walks us through his life of love.  In his Book of Consolation, Isaiah writes of Israel as a "servant," proclaims four "Servant Songs" describing someone with a mission to go beyond  Israel, and bring light, justice, freedom, and sight.  The 'servant' will be gentle of speech and action, upheld by the Lord, loved explicitly so as to bring “justice” between God and creation.  It points to the coming Messiah. God's Spirit will be on and in him, and his actions will make his identity known.  The Gospel is an "annunciation":  the Spirit announces Jesus as “beloved son.”  Jesus' baptism is more a “confirmation” or “ordination.”  When we're baptized, we become part of Jesus’ embrace of God’s mission of returning creation to its proper state; we're 'inSpirited' to extend God’s family in Christ.  We've been celebrating the Word becoming flesh.  Mary’s body was more than others knew; in time Elizabeth, the shepherds, and the Magi reverenced what was different.  Like Jesus, we're baptized, confirmed, and ordained.  As Jesus had to begin his walk toward Jerusalem, we must leave our comfort zone and rub against the spirits that confronted Jesus from after his “baptism” to his baptism of blood.  Our baptism dedicates us to listen and discern like Jesus, to be receptive and to live what we believe.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Live your baptism":   Jesus' baptism is his acceptance of and the inauguration of his mission as God's suffering Servant. He allows Himself to be numbered among sinners.  The Father reaffirmed Jesus' Sonship.  In accepting Baptism, Jesus is anticipating his 'baptism' of bloody death.  He's fulfilling all righteousness, submitting himself to his Father's will, consenting out of love to baptism of death for the remission of our sins.  This abandonment delights the Father, who proclaims Jesus as his beloved Son.  When John baptized Jesus, God anointed Jesus with the Spirit and power.  We too were anointed.  Thank God for our baptismal calling, which makes us Christians, Jesus' siblings, God's children, forgiven, and priests, prophets, and kings.  May we daily bury our old, sinful nature and live our new, risen nature with Christ.
      Baptism of Christ/ Ghirlandaio
      (More Jesus' baptism art)
    • Passionist:  Today's celebration concludes the 44 days of Advent and Christmas, but may we live Christmas every day.  The post-Christmas readings give us responses of faith to the Incarnation; Stephen, John, and the Holy Innocents invite us to ponder theirs.  We remember Mary's motherhood and discipleship.  Then we turn to the challenge of having faith:  John the Baptist identifies Jesus as God’s Chosen but sends messengers ask Jesus whether he's the one.  Disciples call Jesus Messiah, Son of God, King of Israel, and Rabbi.  At the wedding feast, Mary’s set Jesus on the work of giving the Father glory and being glorified by him.  As we end Christmas, Matthew’s focus is on Jesus, the one one who will lead us to the Father and proclaim God's Kingdom....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus humbly submitted to baptism by John":   Jesus didn't need to repent but still approached John for baptism.  His submission foreshadows his "baptism of blood" on the cross.  His baptism is the acceptance and beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant.  Submitting to his Father's will, he let himself be numbered among sinners.  The Father proclaimed his delight in his Son, and the Spirit anointed Jesus for his ministry.  At his baptism heaven opened, and Jesus and the Spirit sanctified the waters; a new creation began.  "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" (Gregory Nazianzen).  To be transformed in the likeness of Christ and become a more effective instrument of the gospel, ask the Spirit to give you Jesus' humility.  The Lord anoints us for mission as ambassadors of his kingdom of justice, peace, and joy, to be salt and light that radiate his mercy and goodness.  He wants his love and truth to shine through us that many may find life, freedom, and joy in the Spirit....
    Dress legend
    • 'Scales' pin:  My servant shall establish justice (Is 42)
    • 'Christmas lights' tie:  I set you as a light for the nations... (Is 42); Christmas season
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  I've grasped you by the and (Is 42)
    • 'Thunderbolt' pin:  The God of glory thunders (Ps 29)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord will bless his people with peace (Ps 29); God proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ (Acts 10)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is enthroned as king forever (Ps 29)
    • 'Dove' pin:  I've put my spirit on my servant (Is 42); God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10); he'll baptize you with the Spirit; Spirit descended on Jesus (gospel)
    • 'Heart' pin:  The people were asking in their hearts whether John was the Messiah (gospel)
    • Blue and white shirt:  Blue: The Lord's voice is over the waters (Ps 29); white for the feast day
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  I called you to open the eyes of the blind (Is 42)
    • 'Star' tie pin:  Yesterday's Epiphany celebration; Epiphanytide is shortest ever this year, though there are other (unofficial) ways to delineate it.
    • 'No-ël' pin:  Christmas season ends today
    • Sandals (not shown):  John:  I'm not worthy to loosen his sandals (gospel)

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