Sunday Gospel -Luke: 3:15-16,21-22
"The People were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
Let us Pray: After reading this passage several times slowly and prayerfully (Lectio) three things emerge strongly; "the people's expectation". John's "words to the people", and the "Father's words to the Son." In the first, they are seeking "the Word made flesh", in the second; he, (John the Baptist) is directing the gaze of the people to "the Word made flesh" and the third, the Father gazing upon the Son and loving Him "the Word made flesh". (Meditacio) The people are in expectation and all questioned in their hearts concerning John- they were asking the one important question to ask...is he the Christ?
John the Baptist must have had a very powerful presence which would stir this question in the hearts of all the people- there must have been "a presence" of God in him that made him very different. John addresses the question in their hearts, (as a disciple of the Lord and a "guide of souls" - he redirects their gaze from; false expectations, desires and conclusions...and he focuses their gaze on Truth. He addresses this "expectation" in their hearts, by identifying who he is, and who he is not. He "steps out of the way" so they have a better vision. "One mightier than I is coming...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire". Now hold this thought..(the peoples expectation, and Johns words)..and let us go the final point, "the words of the Father to the Son.", the passage continues;
"Jesus also had been baptized by John and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven; "You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased". (Contemplacio) Listening to the Father say these words to the Son... Staying close to the Son- and hearing these words with Him and allowing the love from the Father to the Son to flow through your heart - and from the Son to the Father. Listen to the Father say to you' "You are my beloved son/daughter, with you I am well pleased". Do you believe Him? It is the most important truth to believe- the Father loves you , you are His precious child. This unconditional love of the Father for you and for me. Can you believe it? It is so fundamental in our relationship with the Father, to believe that He loves us and the words that seem most unbelievable to the ears...."that He is well pleased with you and me". Believe His Words, because His Word is Truth. Allow His love to enter your mind and heart, your very being allowing it to wash you from all your self loathing. Accept His Love, let His Love "in"! Let His love hold you in the place of Peace. In our Baptism we were welcomed into the family of God, through our baptism, the Holy Spirit descended into our souls and endowed us with three gifts, Faith, Hope and Charity, they are powers/virtues. This indelible mark was left on our soul- we are His! The power of our baptism and the graces we receive we can so easily forget and so we feel "up a creek", stranded, unable to paddle the waters of life, frightened to go further as we feel we have no power to navigate. But the "paddles" are right in our boat. (Oracio) Loving Father, help me today to hear your words in the depths of my heart, let me hear you say, "You are my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased" , I only want to please you. Show me Lord anything right now in my life, that you want me to let go of any "idol" i am clinging to, in hopes of gaining love, satisfaction, pleasure outside of you. Father I love you, Father, I trust you. I am your child, teach me, lead me never stop guiding me, grant me the grace to hear your voice in Your Word this day say "I am well pleased in you daughter/son"help my weak faith, increase my faith and let me know your love for me, open my heart to the fullness of your Fatherly love. I love you, I am your daughter/son, Father reveal to me, my true identity in you, who I am in You and what is my mission so that I live fully and with purpose in Your will. (Actio) I will go back to my baptismal day , I will find out the day I was baptized and remember this day always. I will renew my baptismal promises that my godparents made for me committing myself once again to fully living as your son/daughter this day and every day. Prayer+ Lord increase my Faith, and teach me to pray. Amen