January 10, 2021 (SUNDAY). The Baptism of the Lord.’
Readings: Is 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Mk 1: 7-11.
Theme: “You are My Beloved Son”.
By Fr. Norbert D’Souza, SJ.
In the first reading Prophet Isaiah proclaims the works of the Messiah, the chosen One. He will bring justice to the nations, show mercy to the poor, and give freedom to the captives. His mission is to do, what is pleasing to Yahweh.
In the Second reading St. Peter speaks about the Baptism of Jesus who is empowered by the Holy Spirit to heal those who are wounded. God shows no partiality to anyone. “The man of any nation who fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him.”
The Gospel reading is about Jesus getting Baptized by John the Baptist. By doing so Jesus joins the company of sinners to be one with all of us. Even John the Baptist proudly proclaims the greatness of his successor, Jesus by saying, “I am not fit to loosen his sandal strap.” In this event we see these two servant leaders responding to God’s call.
The Baptism of the Lord confirms and affirms His mission. It reveals that Jesus is beloved son of God, and his life is pleasing to Him. Jesus lived these goals throughout his life. His every thought, word and deed was always in conformity with the Will of the Father. Even during his agony in the garden of Gethsemane, he surrendered himself to the will of his Father by saying “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Still, let it be as you would have it, not as I.” Thus Jesus lived his Baptismal Experience to the end.
Thus through the Baptism of Jesus, he calls us to be united with one God, one faith, one Baptism and oneness among the believers.
Baptised persons build new community, they cannot live alone. Therefore, we see Jesus building that community with his disciples by inviting them to be part of his mission. Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Christ. It is public declaration of our faith in Christ and commitment to him. Hence Baptism is the beginning of our pilgrimage to eternal life.
Our baptism makes us the beloved sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, members of his church, temple of the Holy Spirit and heirs of heaven. Thus the symbols of Baptism signify the anointing, wisdom and holiness by the using holy oil, lighted candle and white cloth respectively.
In conclusion, just as our Lord lived his Baptised life as a beloved of God, we who are baptised have the same call to live as beloved sons or daughters of God throughout our life. Let us be true to our Baptism. Amen.