READINGS for 2007-01-08

Didache | Companion | Sabbath


Baptism of the Lord 


?I am well pleased.? ? Luke 3:22

Unquestioning obedience. It?s not easy. It?s never popular. But it always saves the day for those who have the right person to obey.
      Obedience hits the natural man to his very heart. It shakes his pride, the thing that brought mess to our world.
      Jesus. The Son of God. The King of the universe. The Lord of lords. The Creator of the cosmos. The One who is Enthroned in the Highest Place, whose glory not even the heavens can contain, submerged in the stinking muddy waters of the river, being baptized by a smelly, locust-eating, weirdlooking guy, John the Baptist, who, of course, is not worthy even to untie the thongs of His sandals. Why? Because the Father said so. Why resist when a stunning sweetcheeks, who?s not your wife, invites you to bed? Why be honest when everybody?s pockets are padded with dirty money, except yours? Why do you still wait and believe that there?s something better for you, when God seems too slow for your schedule? Why believe in God?s love when you?re sick and cancer is wrecking your body? Because God says so.
      And because the smile of God is more than worth it all. Jon E.

Whose smile do you wish to see every day?

We live for the day that You will say, ?This is the son/ daughter with whom I am well pleased.?



Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7

The entirety of the Old Testament is a preparation for the New Covenant to be made by Jesus. We can find hints of the new within the old that help us to understand the life and mission of Jesus and how it applies to our lives today. Each of us is called to prepare not only our own lives but also the society and the world we live in for the proclamation of the Gospel. This is an enormous task and we cannot afford to leave it up to a few individuals. Each of us must do his or her part and together we will be able to make a difference. Yes, some have a larger role than others, but ultimately we all need to work together in this mission.

1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon  whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, 2 not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 4 until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. 6 I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the   people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.


Psalm 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10

R: The Lord will bless his people with peace.

1 Give to the LORD, you sons of God, give to the LORD glory and praise, 2 give to the LORD the glory due his name; adore the LORD in holy attire. (R) 3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters, the LORD, over vast waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is mighty; the voice of the LORD is majestic. (R) The God of glory thunders, 9 and in his temple all say, ?Glory!? 10 The LORD is enthroned above the flood; the LORD is enthroned as king forever. (R)


Acts 10:34-38

God is the one who saves. No one else can do this. Saints and angels can intercede for us but only God works the gift of salvation in our lives. As we reflect upon the meaning of our Baptism in the light of Jesus? Baptism by John, it is clear that we are called into the mission of Jesus through our Baptism. The gift of salvation brings with it the responsibility to be willing to share the same gift with others and so further the work of the Kingdom of God through the witness of our lives. Let us pray for the grace to be faithful to our calling.

34 Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, ?In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 35 Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. 36 You know the word [that] he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.?


Luke 3:15-16.21-22

15 Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, saying, ?I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.? 21 After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ?You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.?

my reflections
Each of us is called to prepare not only our own lives but also the society and the world we live in for the proclamation of the Gospel.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





We celebrated yesterday the Solemnity of the Lord?s Epiphany. God manifested Himself to all nations. In and through today?s Solemnity of the Lord?s Baptism, He continues introducing Himself to humankind. The Solemnity of the Lord?s Baptism forms a very essential component of the Lord?s epiphany.
    God reveals that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son. ?You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on You.? Nothing clearer a claim that Jesus is the Son of God than God Himself saying so.
    In asserting that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son, God announces that the Messianic promises (cf. Is 61:1ff) are beginning to be fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ. Later on, Jesus Himself will make this claim in His hometown synagogue (cf. Lk 4:18-19). Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the inauguration of the New. In Him, with Him, and through Him, the Kingdom of God breaks upon humankind.
    At the Lord?s Baptism in the Jordan, God further reveals that while He and the Son are one, there are actually three Persons in Him. When the Son is baptized, the Father?s voice is heard and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the likeness of a dove. This is the first revelation of the Most Holy Trinity in the New Testament. This divine manifestation is like a statement on the economy of  salvation: the Father sends the Son who, in obedience to the will of the Father, achieves the work of redemption in, with, and through the Holy Spirit.
     The Lord?s baptism is a continuation of the Lord?s epiphany. But the Lord?s baptism does not conclude the Lord?s epiphany. I do not mean that He makes new revelations ? Jesus Christ is the final and definitive revelation of God; after Jesus and besides Jesus, there are no more revelations to come ? but that in and through us, baptized in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, God is likewise manifested to the world. By way of identification and participation with Jesus, the Beloved Son of the Father, we continue the epiphany of God. This is our privilege and our mission. Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: How is the Lord manifested in my life?

Shine, O Lord, in me. Shine through me. Show Your Self to me. Help me to show You to others. Amen.

St. Athem, bishop, pray for us.

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