Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beloved sons and daughters!

As we pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary we are called to meditate on the first mystery – the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. Do you sometimes wonder how to think about this mystery? It is in fact, mysterious! Why is this event in Jesus’ life so important.

I have been reading a wonderful little book entitled “The Luminous Mysteries ~ Biblical Reflections on the Life of Christ” by Tim Gray. (Emmaus Road Publishers) I highly recommend this book which shed great light for me on this mystery of light!

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Jesus. It is a solemn feast ~ which means it is very important! At Jesus' Baptism the Heavens were “torn open” and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus, anointing Him as the promised Messiah and the King of Kings! It is one of two times in the New Testament when we hear the voice of God the Father who declares: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (Mark 1:1-15).

Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan prefigures His Baptism in blood on the Cross. And St. Paul tells us in Romans: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Rom 6:3-4).

Tim Gray says: At Jesus’ baptism…He is anointed the Christ – the Lord’s anointed One. At our baptism, we also are anointed with the Holy Spirit and this too marks our identity. We are anointed with God’s Holy Spirit at baptism so that we can be empowered by the grace of the Spirit to follow Jesus.

It is not always easy in our culture to be out there as a Christian – as Catholic. But we have received the power of the Holy Spirit - the grace to follow Jesus through our Baptism. Let us plumb the depths of that grace and walk with a lighter step and a lighter heart today and be renewed in the knowledge that we too are beloved sons and daughters of the Father. We have been baptized into Christ and we are a new creation!

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