Resources - The Baptism of the Lord
A: Matt 3:13-17 - The Baptism of the Lord
is such a major event in the life of Jesus Christ, not because he needed the saving
grace and promise of eternal life that baptism provides, in fact we hear that
John the Baptist was most reluctant to baptise Jesus because he saw himself as
too unworthy to perform baptism and ask for pardon of sins for someone who was
clearly the Son of God. The event is more about God and God's revelation of Jesus
as God's son than of the worthiness of the one ministering.
notice that Jesus' baptism was by immersion in the waters of the Jordan and a
plunging fully into the water highlights the saving experience of baptism because
the water will refresh our souls and become living water for the journey ahead.
As Jesus comes up out of the water Jesus sees the heavens open and the Holy Spirit
descend from above. With all of this heavenly activity the people around would
have been quite disturbed, especially when they heard God's voice naming Jesus
as Son, as beloved, as the one whom God's favour rests on.
we are fortunate enough to experience the Sacrament of Baptism during our Sunday
mass and I say 'fortunate' because of all the Sacraments, Baptism is the most
special because it is through this Sacrament that we become God's children, that
we can call God, Father, Jesus, brother, and claim the Holy Spirit as being a
part of our lives. Far too frequently our baptism can become a childhood memory
and many of us do not even have photographs of the event. For our baptism to be
left as a part of our childhood is most unfortunate because it is through out
baptism that we can claim a place with God when our lives end.
frequent comment heard is that "Catholics do funerals well" and this
is true. We have been taught by Paul's numerous letters that through our baptism
we are incorporated into the Body of Christ and through "dying to our old
selves we become a new creation in Christ" and it is through this new creation
that we are welcomed by God when our life on earth ends. The funeral liturgy is
immersed in baptism language, the frequent use of the white pall reminds everyone
of us that we are clothed in Christ and will be welcomed into eternal life. We
"do funerals well" because our funerals recognise the gift of our lives
and the promise of hope through eternal life. Our funerals are celebrations and
so they should be.
Year A: The Baptism
of the Lord
- a bruised reed he shall not break, and a smouldering wick he shall not quench.
Too often our society tells us - if it doesn't work - throw it away, if it doesn't
produce -get another one. We have an issue with productivity. Which is why certain
groups are often ignored. Because they are old, disabled, mentally ill, can't
speak English or keep up with fashion they are given less importance. Because
they can't produce what society wants - whether that be money, products, ideas,
whatever. But this is not Jesus' angle. And it never was.
the prophet Isaiah wrote about the "servant" that God was going to send
he painted a beautiful picture of the Prince of Peace: a reed, even if it is bruised
- he wouldn't break it. A wick that is dying won't be extinguished. In his actions
Jesus shows us the beauty of peaceful ways - give everything and everyone the
dignity they deserve. Did you know 1 in 3 Australian women experience domestic
violence at some time in their lives? And that 1 in 6 Australian kids are bullied
weekly? That road rage is on the rise and 90% of Aussie drivers experience it?
There is so much violence in the world already. Let's not add to it with our thoughts
or actions. Let's go out of our way to promote NON-VIOLENCE. And follow the example
we hear today.
Year C: Lk3:15-16,
21-22 - The Baptism of the Lord
are reminded today of God's complete love and graciousness to humanity through
the baptism of Jesus. We all 'know' that Jesus was baptised by John in the river
Jordan and in case we had missed the important part, God declares that Jesus is
God's son, "the beloved," and that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus
while he was at prayer. God loves us so much that Jesus came to be one of us,
to show us how to live in relationship with God. Luke tells us that Jesus was
at prayer when the Holy Spirit descended, to echo the biblical tradition of prayer
preceding divine revelation. Jesus is teaching us how to be open to God's self-communication
in prayer. All we have to do is stop in our daily rush to 'see and do everything',
and include some God time.
graciousness and love has been extended to each of us through our baptism. You
and I have been named as a child of God, we have been anointed 'priest, prophet
and royal'. Too frequently, this reality has been lost along with most infant
memories. It is our Christian birthright to claim relationship with God and it
becomes our responsibility to live out our baptism in a world that is increasingly
rejecting God. So, if we all 'know' that we have been baptised how do we change
the event of a baptism, into a lifestyle so that everyone we meet and deal with
will 'know' that we have been baptised?
Ministry Resources The Baptism of the Lord
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