FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Sunday January 13, 2019
FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
WORD of the DAY
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”. (Luke 3: 21-22)
How shall I live this Word?
After being baptized by John, Jesus came out of the waters of the Jordan, and pauses in prayer. In the silence that allows Him to reconnect to the Father, the Father Himself intervenes, breaking a silence that lasted over many centuries and making Himself present to the world, to announce that the Messiah has arrived, a new era opens up. Even the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in this scene, transforming it into a trinitarian revelation. The Spirit here is in the form of a dove, evoking an ancient testament image that narrated the harmony restored after the universal flood.
The words addressed from heaven to Jesus are from Psalm 2: 7, “You are my son, today I have begotten you”, a ritual formula pronounced at the investiture of a king. The divine revelation continues with the words: “Behold my servant … my chosen one whom I delight in”, a quotation taken from one of the Servant Songs (Isaiah 42: 1) in which the prophet describes the servant who suffers and dies to save the people. The identity of that mysterious anciently prophesied servant is now clear: God reveals that the Messiah comes in abasement, in humility, to rehabilitate humanity plunged into sin.
Jesus showed solidarity with the little ones of history: He immersed Himself with them in the Jordan to express conversion and manifest himself as a man for others. Salvation is a community gift and becomes a relational good.
Lord, grant that our following You makes us a gift for others. Grant that none of us pursues only our own salvation but lives so that all may be saved.
The Voice of the Magnificat Antiphon of the Epiphany Vespers
We celebrate this holy day, made beautiful by three miracles. Today the star guided the Magi to the cradle; today at the wedding feast, water was changed into wine; today, Christ wanted to receive from John immersion in the Jordan to give us salvation! Alleluia!
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Sr. Silvia Biglietti, FMA