Gospel Reflection for the Baptism of Our Lord, Year C – January 10th 2016
A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Now when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you’.
Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22
Today, Jesus’ baptism by John, was a special moment – the real coming of God’s Spirit upon him. The Spirit had come on Mary at the moment of Jesus’ conception, and would come to Jesus at his last moment on the Cross.
The Spirit brings him new energy. The feast marks that something new is happening, and that Jesus is the beloved and son; from eternity and into time.
The Spirit came upon him – but not just for himself. He would send the Spirit later to us – of forgiveness and of perseverance in doing good.
Today is about energy. Jesus found a new spirit in himself after his prayer and he heard words he would never forget. Maybe you have heard words of love from someone you will never forget. They give energy to the heart and soul, making us people always on the go, ready for new life within us.
INTO BREAD AND WINE
The spirit pours the energy of God into bread and wine and they are changed forever. He sends himself forever. It is sending the love and presence and energy of God.
We know that we can get stuck. We need new infusions of the Spirit to give new energy. Can we be the type of people whom others think it’s good to meet? Open to the spirit of God, open to new life, new love, being really fully the person I can be.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger