READINGS for 2008-01-13

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:17
When I was a kid, the person who was most proud of me was my dad. Though it was my mom who tutored me and trained me well, it was Dad who would always go up the stage every time I got an award. He would brag to everyone about his son and would always quip, “Mana sa ama!”
       As I continue on with furthe r “achievements” in life, I thank my mom for raising me up to the person I am today. But somehow, I continue to miss my dad. He succumbed to a stroke shortly after I graduated from college.
       Now, every time I’m up on stage — as a speaker, performer or preacher — I would still catch myself seeing Dad in my  mind, his eyes beaming with pride, telling the world, “That’s my son. Mana sa akin ‘yan!”
       Before tears roll from my eyes, I am consoled with the truth that there is a greater “Dad” — my Father God, in heaven — who sees me more, knows me more and loves me more. It is He whom I should please more. It is my ultimate prayer that one day I too shall hear Him say, “Alvin is my beloved son with whom I am pleased.”
       “Mana din sa akin ‘yan!” Alvin Barcelona
Does my life make my dad proud of me? Does my life make my Father God proud of me?
Father God, grant me the grace to make You proud that I am Your child. Make my life pleasing to You, like Your one true Son, Jesus — my brother, my model, my Lord. Amen.


Once again we read that Jesus is “a light to the nations.” This means that we too are lights to the nations. It is not as though we have a choice in this matter. If we call ourselves Christians then this is part of the identity we take on in Christ. Baptism not only conforms us to the person of Christ but also to His general mission of bringing the light of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7
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 ( 11b)
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) 3 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)
In choosing this text for the Second Reading, the Church affirms Her evangelical commitment to bring the Gospel to all men and women. There will always be a need for people who are willing to break the shackles of their comfort in their own culture and be ready to bring the Gospel to other peoples and cultures. This is hard work and requires great dedication and determination of Spirit.
Acts 10:34-38
34 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.
Jesus submits Himself to the baptism of John and in so doing creates a sacrament that has transforming power for those willing to surrender their lives to the graces and gifts of God offered in Baptism. Baptism is a rite of passage of faith; it marks the boundary between a life of condemnation and a life of blessing. It is up to the individual to dispose his or her life to the graces of the Sacrament and so live it to the full.
Matthew 3: 13- 17
13 Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” 15 Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
my reflections
think:There will always be a need for people who are willing to break the shackles of their comfort in their own culture and be ready to bring the Gospel to other peoples and cultures. Are you one of them?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
My weekly time with God
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week

What happened at My BaptisM?

Most of us were baptized as infants and do not remember this great moment. And yet, after our birth, our baptism was the most decisive moment in our life.
       My mother always made my baptismal day special. She would light my baptismal candle during breakfast, put some flowers on the table, and add something special to our usual meal. She did this to remind me that this day was as important as the birthday I had celebrated a week earlier.
       Unfortunately, many Christians do not remember their baptismal day. They consider baptism as just a namegiving ceremony and an opportunity to have a party. Parents and godparents forget that during baptism, they took upon themselves the duty to bring up the child according to the teachings and values of Jesus Christ and the Church. The feast of the Baptism of the Lord reminds us of this important fact, and gives meaning to the baptism we received many years ago.
       After Jesus was baptized by John, He began His public ministry. Our baptism also sets us on the path of becoming a disciple of Christ. At baptism, the heavenly Father adopted us and spoke to us the words He spoke at the river Jordan, “You are my beloved child.”
       As we grow up, so do the graces received at baptism. Like seeds, these had to be developed and  nurtured in order to grow. Baptism is just the beginning of the lifelong process of becoming a Christian. In spite of our weaknesses and failures, we move slowly but surely towards the goal of coming closer to God and closer to the example of Jesus’ life, closer to becoming the disciple Jesus wants us to be.
       The more we know and love Jesus, the more we will be able to develop our baptismal graces and become real Christians. Fr. Rudy Horst
Reflection Question:
When is my day of baptism? How could I make this day special? Am I aware that becoming a real Christian is a lifelong process?
Merciful Father, today I thank You once more for adopting me in baptism as Your beloved child. Even though I have not always lived as Your child is supposed to live, I trust that You continue to love me and sustain me and help me to develop further the graces You have bestowed on me when I was baptized.
St. Hilary, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us. 

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