for Sunday, January 11, 2015
Water! Each of the readings today refers to water and to its effects in
our lives. We all know that we cannot live without water for very long.
The image today is saying that without the water of divine wisdom and the
water of divine compassion, we will perish. For us, that water is Jesus
Christ, who refreshes our soul.
The Prophet Isaiah has led us all through Advent and through Christmas and
now we come to the beginning of Ordinary Time, and the Prophet Isaiah is
still teaching us. He tells us: All who are thirsty, come to the water!
Water here is the symbol of all that we need to live. God will give it to
us. Water is the symbol of life. God will give it to us. Water is the
symbol of abundance. God will give it to us. Isaiah has a total
confidence in this God who has revealed Himself to Him. Isaiah wants us to
have that confidence as well.
Why should we have confidence? Because, Isaiah tells us, the word of God
will accomplish all that it sets out to do. This takes a huge amount of
faith on our part. Yet if we listen to the whole tradition of the Jewish
and Christian Scriptures, this is always the promise of God to us, His
The second reading, from the First Letter of Saint John, speaks to this
very point: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who
believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the real test for one who
believe: to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Somehow God leads us to
this belief. At times we believe because faith has been handed down to us.
Yet we must come to believe because we ourselves have encountered the
living God. This also is a challenge throughout the ages. There are
multitudes who believe because their belief is inherited. God wants to
challenge us to believe because we have encountered Him.
The Gospel from Mark today, of course, is about the baptism of the Lord.
It is a very short account and is clear: something happened at the baptism
and the other followers of John the Baptist recognized it, but people only
understood it as the life of Jesus unfolded and particularly after His
Resurrection. And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased."
We are invited on this Sunday to deepen our faith, to be able to recognize
that the voice from heaven is the voice of God Himself, speaking to Jesus
His Son. In Jesus is our salvation. We are invited to believe. Water can
remind us each day that we also are invited to be baptized in Him, our
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 42.1-4, 6-7
Second Reading: Acts 10.34-38
Gospel: Mark 1.7-11
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: