for Sunday, January 9, 2011
Perhaps this year we can listen to the words of John the Baptist: I need
to be baptized by you and yet you are coming to me?
How often in our lives we hope that God will come and save us - and then we
find out that He does save us, but through another human being and not
directly as we often would prefer? This is part of Jesus taking on our
humanity. How often He asks us to help others in His name and to do good
to others in His name - and we forget that is is part of salvation. The
mystery of the Baptism of the Lord is about His becoming totally immersed
in our humanity.
This imagery of immersion fits perfection with the image of baptism. Just
as the early imagery of this feast speaks about all of the water of the
earth becoming holy because Jesus is baptized in the water, so we can
understand that all of creation becomes holy because Jesus takes on our
You and I are that holiness of the Lord Jesus, given flesh so that we can
radiate that holiness to one another and to all whom we meed. This helps
us understand the first reading, from the Prophet Isaia, who tells us that
the Lord formed us, and set us as a covenant of the people, a light for the
nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from
confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
This Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is not about standing on one side
and watching the Lord do great things. No, it is about living fully and
allowing the Lord to do great things in us. Holy is His name.
It is true that the Lord works marvels in us. It is true that some saints
seem greater than others. It is true that you and I are called to be
saints, even when we feel the lest saintly. The only goal for all of us is
to do the Will of the Father. That is what Jesus set out to do and it is
what He invites us to do. We need not worry how well we do it, we need
only keep trying to do it.
In seeking to do His will is our peace. In seeking to do His will is all
of our fulfillment. May the Lord Jesus draw us deep into His baptism today
and help us embrace all the suffering that comes with embracing the
Father's Will and all the joy and delight of seeking the Lord.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: