THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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.”
Reflection: The Baptism of our Lord which we celebrate today concludes Christmastide.
What have you been asking in your hearts this Christmas? What has the Infant Jesus whispered in your heart?
Perhaps it is one last reminder to visit Him at the crib and listen to what He has to say.
Today’s Gospel prompted me to think of my own baptism. I was a newborn with no recollection of it. I have seen photos of the event, of course, but I do not know the name of the priest who witnessed my parents’ marriage, nor do I know the priest who baptized me. We have moved away and lost complete contact, as is often the case.
How strange it is that the priest who brought me into the spiritual life of the Church is not a man I often remember as I should. If he had chosen any other path but his priesthood, had not committed to its demands and bore its trials, my life in Christ would not be.
Like him, there are instrumental people whom God sends into our lives that sometimes become forgotten. Let us remember them today, particularly the priests who have ministered to us in our childhood, and pray for them.