+ Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
January 9, 2011
Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7
Acts of the Apostles 10: 34-38
Matthew 3: 13-17
Traditionally, the Feast of the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan, at the hands of John the Baptist, is celebrated on the Sunday following the Feast of Epiphany.
And it is the opening lines of the Prophet Isaiah (42: 1-4) which present an ideal portrait of Christ as He is about to begin His Public Life; as He is about to carry out the will of His Father. The Prophet Isaiah writes:
This 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 established justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.
When Jesus steps from the waters of the River Jordan, He begins immediately to preach the Gospel to all of those who have chosen to listen. Christ chooses the Twelve Apostles and establishes His Church.
This special Feast should prompt us to express our gratitude to Jesus for His Gift of Baptism which has enabled each of us to become members of the Church, have the Original Sin of Adam removed from us and gives us a share in the Divine Life of the Trinity.
The Church’s celebration of the Baptism of Christ provides us with an occasion to renew our Baptismal Vows and to live in such a way that each of us is able to be a witness to the Truth of the Gospel to those around us.
May we imitate the examples of Jesus and carry out God’s Will for us with constancy and fidelity.