Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Reflection - The Baptism of Jesus

Baptism of Christ: Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John.

painting by Davezelenka 2005

Today’s is the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus, when Christians officially end the celebration of Christmas and now move on to the next phase in the liturgical year, which is called the “Ordinary Time.”

In this season of endings as well as of new beginnings, we are assured of God’s ever-abiding presence. He remains to guide and protect us.

The Baptism, signals the end of the private life of Jesus Christ and the start of his public ministry. In Matthew 3 - John baptizes Jesus and then, the voice of the Father in heaven was heard, saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

Some families baptize their children when they are infants. Others wait until the ‘age of reason’ (usually around the age of 12) and there are others who are not baptized until they make it their own personal choice as an adult.

No matter the age of the person, baptism is a commitment on behalf of the child or by an adult and is the ritual of initiation or entry into the community that unites us with Christ Jesus and the Christian community. Thus, in baptism, we bid “goodbye” to our old self and we welcome the “new life” in Christ.

As we celebrate today, let us be reminded of our personal baptismal promise to reject what is evil and to embrace what is good and pleasing before God. If we do this, we, like Jesus, will be pleasing to our Father in heaven.

1 Peter 3:21 - 'this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also - not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.'

In these turbulent times I pray that this reflection about Baptism will help to keep us grounded and that we concentrate on our personal faith journey and not get distracted by the acts of hatred that we witness or hear about daily.

Stay focused and do no harm, in this way we will be able to make positive changes in the world.


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