Baptism at the Jordan
Saturday, January 6, 2018 1st Reading: 1 John 5:5-13 Gospel: Mark 1:7-11
John the Baptist preached to the people saying, “After me comes one who is more powerful than I am; I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. As for me, I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandals.”
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth, a town of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And the moment he came up out of the water, heaven opened before him and he saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And these words were heard from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen.”
THE GOSPEL IN OUR LIFE EXPERIENCE:
The mission-vision of John the Baptist was to serve the Messiah by preparing his way. Was this service necessary? Did Jesus not possess enough powers to make sure everything was in place at his coming? Didn’t John the Baptist himself admit that Jesus was more powerful than him?
This question calls for a deeper reflection on God’s economy of salvation. It abhors pure dole out and requires human participation. John the Baptist’s mission represents the role that human beings play in the salvific plan. For God’s salvific work to have any effect on us, we must pave Jesus’ way to our lives. We must level off the bumps and hollows of our imperfections so that God’s entry into our life would be smooth. This entails living a life of discipline and devotion, and humble submission to the Church’s doctrine.
John the Baptist’s austere life shows us how far discipline should take us. The Blessed Virgin Mary’s life shows us how far a life of devotion should take us. Humble submission to the doctrine of the Church is the respect we owe to Jesus who painstakingly established this Church on the foundation of Peter and the Apostles.
No matter how God wants to save us, his salvific work won’t have any effect on us if we remain undisciplined and adamant to Church doctrines. Liturgist have coined the Latin phrase, “ex opere operantis”. This literally means that the effect of the sacrament in a person will depend on the manner he opens his heart. Even if a person opens his heart but refuses to empty it with evil desires, grace won’t have any effect on his life. Christianity is a results-oriented relationship with God who looks for fruits in us like we are fig trees.
Our baptism turned us into adopted children. As such we have become heirs of the kingdom of God. But one thing is adoption another thing is behaving as adopted children. Our baptism only inaugurated our adoption. John the Baptist must work hard in us so that God could effect salvation in our lives. –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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