January 10, 2021: Feast of the Baptism of Jesus
Gospel Mk 1:7-11
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On the coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
This gospel of Jesus’ baptism is one of my favorites – perhaps it’s because I have visited Israel and can easily picture this scene on the banks of the Jordan River. This scene is filled with humility, wisdom and grace. Some 30 years have passed since last week’s Gospel story of the visit of the Magi. Jesus is an adult and is beginning his public ministry. How will he be accepted by those he encounters as he begins walking and teaching among them? John seems to intuit Jesus’ mission and greets him with humility, acknowledging his mission. That mission is confirmed by the Spirit and the voice from heaven which proclaims him as God’s Beloved Son. As this year continues, let us remember that God calls each of us “beloved,” perhaps not in such a dramatic way, but silently, deep within our heart.
During this year, we might take time to meditate on the thought of being God’s Beloved – what does that mean in my life? And also, what would it mean if we treated each person we meet as God’s Beloved one?