Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, with the Gospel reading from Mark 1:7-11. This occasion introduces Jesus to the world as the Son of God – pretty dramatic entrance to the world stage, wouldn’t you say? This passage catches your attention. The Baptism of the Lord is a really big day for three reasons. It marks the end of:
- The Christmas season, and the beginning of Ordinary Time.
- Jesus’ private life and the beginning of His ministry.
- Our separation from God and the beginning of an open line of communication between heaven and earth. 1 We see the physical manifestation of that claim with multiple people hearing the voice of God the Father, when He states, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).
Baptism Marks an Ending and a Beginning
Endings and beginnings remind us of our own baptisms where we died with Christ and became adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Our baptisms freed us from Original Sin, giving us a fresh start on life. It seems apropos that we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and all it offers in the form of new beginnings, at the start of a new calendar year. As we begin Ordinary Time and focus on the ministry of the Lord, let’s do some reflection on what needs to change within our own lives to open our own line of communication with the Father.
Here are some things for each of us to consider:
- How fruitful or fruitless is your prayer life? Do you pray frequently? Prayer is the means of communication from you to God.
- How attuned are you to Scripture? Do you read the Bible regularly? Reading Scripture is God’s way of communicating directly to your heart.
So, if you are still looking for a good New Year’s resolution, then consider setting aside 30 minutes a day to pray and read Scripture. Open those lines of communication, so that you too, can hear those treasured words, “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.”
1 The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Raymond E. Brown, SS. Ed., Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, Print. 1990. p. 599.
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