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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

The Baptism of the Lord (B)
1st Reading (Isa 42:1-4.6-7): Thus says the Lord: 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, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

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, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
Responsorial Psalm: 28
R/. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the Lord, you sons of God, give to the Lord glory and praise, give to the Lord the glory due his name; adore the Lord in holy attire.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the Lord, over vast waters. The voice of the Lord is mighty; the voice of the Lord is majestic.

The God of glory thunders, and in his temple all say, “Glory!”. The Lord is enthroned above the flood; the Lord is enthroned as king forever.
2nd Reading ( Acts 10:34-38): Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying: «In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.

»You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 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».
Versicle before the Gospel (Cf. Jn 1:29): Alleluia. John saw Jesus approaching him, and said:Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mk 1:7-11): This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Mons. Salvador CRISTAU i Coll Bishop of Terrassa (Barcelona) (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, on the solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, the cycle of Christmas festivities concludes. The Gospel tells us that John had “appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mk 1:4). People went to listen to him, confessed their sins, and were baptized by him in the Jordan River. And among those people, Jesus also presented Himself to be baptized.

During the Christmas festivities, we have seen how Jesus revealed Himself to the shepherds and the magi who, coming from the East, worshiped Him and offered their gifts. Indeed, Jesus' coming into the world is to manifest God's saving love.

And there, at the Jordan, a new manifestation of Jesus' divinity occurred: the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descended upon Him, and the voice of the Father was heard: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mk 1:11). It is the Father in heaven and the Holy Spirit who reveal Him in this instance. It is God Himself who reveals to us who Jesus is, His beloved Son.

But this was not a revelation just for John and the Jews, it was also for us. The same Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father, revealed to the Jews at the Jordan, continually reveals to us every day. In the Church, in prayer, in our brothers and sisters, in the Baptism we have received that has made us children of the same Father.

Let us ask ourselves, then: —Do I recognize His presence, His love in my life? —Do I live a true relationship of filial love with God? Pope Francis says, "What God wants from man is a 'father-son' relationship, to caress us, and tells us: 'I am with you'".

Amid our struggles and difficulties, the Father in heaven also says to us: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “Baptism has freed us from all evils, which are the sins, but with God's grace we must fulfill all goodness.” (Saint Caesarius of Arles)

  • “You parents have a baby boy or girl to baptize. Such is the chain of faith: you have a duty to hand on the faith to these children. It is the most beautiful inheritance you will leave to them. Think about this.” (Francis)

  • “Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted (…). Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 405)