The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7; Acts of the Apostles 10: 4-38; Mark 1:7-11
“The Lord will bless his people with peace.”
As we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan by John the Baptist, marking the conclusion of the Christmas season, we are reminded, in the reading from Isaiah, of the Mission of Jesus “to bring forth Justice to the nations.”
In the Acts we read that Peter speaks of Jesus being anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, “doing good and healing those oppressed by the devil.”
As we take time to ponder the event, wherein John the Baptist proclaims the need for repentance to those who came to be baptized, we see Jesus entering the water, humbling himself to be in solidarity with the Jewish community, who are acknowledging their sinfulness and seeking God’s forgiveness.
Mark’s Gospel presents the scene of Jesus in the waters of the river Jordan with the Spirit like a dove coming upon him and the voice of God proclaiming him as his “Beloved Son.” This was a moment of the public revelation of Jesus as belonging to the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. From that time on, Jesus began his public mystery strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit to be a Light to the nations, to open the eyes of the blind and to release those bound in darkness.
And so, God continues to reveal Himself to us and to our world through the persons and circumstances of our lives. We only need to recognize the Presence of God within ourselves and to recognize that Presence in others, so we can honor, love and serve the least among us, as well as those living in darkness.
Let us pray. Loving God, we come before you at the threshold of this New Year to open ourselves to all the ways you reveal yourself to us in the light and in the darkness, in all of nature and in one another. Help us to carry your light and your peace to all those who stand in need of your healing power and to be instruments of your compassion and love to all who are living in fear and isolation. Amen.
Sr. Mary Doris, OP