12 January 2020 – The Baptism of the Lord

Imagine yourself at a busy airport and, though in most airports one can never hear anything that is being announced, you hear your name. This happened to me once.

In our own baptisms, we receive several things. Our name, freedom from Original Sin, entrance into the Christian Community, and our personal entering into Christ's mission.

The mission of Jesus extend the meaning of His birth. He was born that we might have life in and through Him. Last week we witnessed the Magi worshiping Him with gifts of worldly value. Today, He who has come to serve and not be served receives His public anointing from the One Who sent Him.

In today's First Reading, we hear the first of the prophecies about the coming Messiah as a servant of the Lord. Isaiah profiles some attributes of the Person Who will bring such life through being such a servant. This One in whom God is pleased, will not be like other who draw attention to themselves. The prophet then speaks the words of God directly to the Servant, claiming Him as ordained by God to bring peace, freedom and light into the darkness of creation.

When Jesus submits to John's baptism, by His going down into the waters of the Jordan, Jesus allows the law to be complete. The same Spirit hovers over Him to initiate a new age of harmony within the human relationship with God and with each other. He is designated as The Servant of the Lord with all the duties, burdens, and consequences of this ordination.

In the weeks to come we will hear His calling to us to return to harmony, trust, and the blessedness which comes from accepting God's being pleased with us, in Christ.

Today Jesus hears His name called over the loud-speaker of God's airport. Today again, we hear our names called to go public, because God has gone private with each of us in gesture and word.