Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Year C - January 9, 2022
Readings referenced in this reflection are below
You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.
This week we jump over Jesus' childhood years and we hear the account of the baptism of Jesus in Luke's Gospel. When the people gathered at the side of the river with John the Baptist, they questioned him wondering if he was the Messiah who was going to come. John humbly answered them saying
"I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." - Luke 3:15-16
The Gospel from today continues:
"when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”" - Luke 3:21-22
Now, just imagine if you were someone who had witnessed this, I can only assume that the reaction of many would be somthing like this:
It is the beginning of the Great Journey of Christ that will ultimately lead to the cross and the resurection. This is the first real public act of Jesus' ministry, and announces to the world that he indeed is the long awaited Messiah.
"Baptism permits Christ to live in us, and us to live united with him." - Pope Francis
Jesus did not need to be baptized to be united with God, he did not need to be baptized to be washed clean from sin, in fact he did not need to be baptized at all. Instead he was baptized as an example for us today.
This Sunday concludes the season on Christmas, thus closing the first part of Jesus' life. This part of Jesus' life prepares him for his public ministry. In the past few weeks we have heard of the journey to Bethlehem, The Birth of Jesus, Jesus being lost in the temple, and the visit from the wisemen. All of this is the prologue of the life that Jesus is beginning with his public ministry.
Sunday Readings: Baptism of the Lord (Year C)
First Reading Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honour and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent. R.
You set the beams of your dwelling place on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers. R.
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great. R.
Living things all look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. R.
When you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth. R.
Second Reading Titus 2:11-14; 3.4-7
Beloved: The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
For when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Gospel Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”