January 6th, 2023

The Holy Gospel according to Mark (1:7-11)

This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:  “One mightier than I is coming after me.  I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.  I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.  On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.  And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Reflection:  For some reason, there is a choice between two Gospels today.  The other choice was the genealogy of Jesus according to Luke.  I chose Mark’s Gospel because it is about the baptism of Jesus.  First of all, we ask ourselves, why was Jesus baptized?  Jesus is the Son of God, the 2nd person of the blessed Trinity and without sin.  He was baptized to share in our humanity.  He is fully human and fully divine.  Jesus is like us in all things, except sin.  This should also remind us of our baptisms.  Most of us were probably baptized as infants and do not recall our baptism.  We know we were baptized because our parents told us we and we were raised in the faith.  Those baptized as adults probably recall your baptism.  Baptism is the first sacrament we receive.  We are baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, and we become members of the Body of Christ, the Church and we receive sanctifying grace.  By virtue of our baptism, we are called to holiness. After Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water and the spirit descended upon him.  A voice from the heavens proclaimed, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”   This is the same thing that happens to each one of us who are baptized.  God our Father tells us, “You are my beloved son/daughter; with you I am well pleased.”  God is pleased with us because he loves us unconditionally.  Because God loves us, he encourages us to to be holy and to lead holy lives.  We live in a fallen world with negative voices and temptations that try to bring us down.  But God loves us, and he reminds us over and over that we are his beloved children.  God wants to lift us up to live holy lives and live for him.  We may not hear God’s voice booming from the heavens, but God does speak to us in various ways.  God speaks to us through prayer, through the holy scriptures, the sacraments, the mass, through encouraging words from a friend and many other ways.  All we need is an open heart and mind and maybe we can hear God our Father whispering to us: You are my beloved son/daughter, and with you I am well pleased.”

Action of the Day:  There is nowhere that God is not present.  We are just not attentive to his presence.  As you go about your day, be attentive to God’s presence around you and try to be holy.  

Audio Reflection:

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