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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

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): In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said: «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. As for me, I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandals. 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’».

«You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen»

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

Today, with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Christmas cycle is over. The Gospel says that John had «appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of the sins» (Mk 1:4). People went out to see and hear him, to confess their sins and to be baptized by him in the Jordan River. And among those people Jesus also appeared to be baptized.

At Christmas we have seen how Jesus appeared to the shepherds and the magi who, coming from the East, worshiped Him and offered Him their gifts. In fact, the coming of Jesus to the world is to manifest God’s love that saves us.

And there, in the river Jordan, a new manifestation of Jesus’ divinity was made: heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended towards Him as a dove and the voice of the Father was heard: «You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased» (Mk 1:11). In this case, it is the Father of Heaven and the Holy Spirit who made it manifest. It is God himself who reveals who is Jesus, His beloved son.

But it was not a revelation only for John and the Jews. It was for us too. Jesus himself, the beloved Son of the Father, who manifested to the Jews in the river Jordan, continually manifests to us every day. In the Church, in prayers, in our brothers, at the Baptism we have received that has made us children of the same Father.

Let us ask, therefore: - 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 seeks from us is a relationship like that between a father and child. God give us a caress and tells us: I am by your side».

In the midst of our struggles and difficulties, the Heavenly Father also tells us: "you are my son whom I love; with you I am well pleased".