He preached to the people, saying, “After me comes one who is more powerful than I am; I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth, a town of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And the moment he came up out of the water, heaven opened before him, and he saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And these words were heard from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen.”
READ: The first reading from the Prophet Isaiah exhorts the exiled Jews to go back to Jerusalem for Jerusalem would be restored with the reign of an ideal king, not for their sake, but to show the world that God is in control of history. John in the second reading tells that Jesus is the Anointed, the Son of God. It reminds that Christian life requires both faith in Jesus and love of the brothers and sisters. The Gospel of Mark narrates the baptism of the Lord and points to Jesus as the beloved Son of God, which recalls God’s declaration to the messiah (the anointed king) in Ps 2:7: “You are my son. This day I have begotten you.”
REFLECT: After Christmas, the liturgy shows us the start of the Public life of Jesus. It all starts with the baptism done by John. The baptism of the Lord inaugurates his mission as Messiah revealed in his obedience to the Father and closeness to the poor and sinners. The Lord’s Baptism also reminds us of our baptism, dying to our own sinfulness and rising up as beloved children of the Father. Our Gospel invites to follow Jesus who is to commence the journey that would lead him to death and resurrection.
PRAY: Almighty ever-loving Father, nourish us with the fire of your saving and comforting love as we tread the path of life amidst trials and problems. Look kindly upon us your children that we may be able to fulfill our roles and responsibilities as Christians, spreading love and generosity! Amen.
ACT: Nurture the love of God dwelling deep within your heart. Take time to listen to a person whom you do not like to be with. Offer to the least member of your community one of your most dear possessions, like a shirt or pair of shoes, etc…
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