Sunday, January 07, 2007


Feast, Baptism of Our Lord

January 8, 2007
Feast, Baptism of Our Lord - C

ISAIAH 42:1-4, 6-7
Thus 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 establishes justice on
the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. I, the Lord, have
called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the
nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from
confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

ACTS 10:34-38
Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius,
saying: "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in
every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.
You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace
through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over
Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went
about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God
was with him."

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."

Today, on this Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, we begin a journey with
Jesus as the navigator who will lead us safely to our destination, our
heavenly home. Each year, at this time, we set out with him on his
journey, one that lasted for about three years. We have been on this
journey ever since our baptism when we pledged to accompany him all the
way until we rest together forever in our true home in heaven.

The liturgy of the Church is arranged in such a way that we are
enlightened about the way to go, encouraged to do so, and offered the
means to get there. And we do that by following Jesus who is the Way,
the Truth, and the Life.

For the past seven weeks we have celebrated the remote preparation for
this journey through Advent and the Christmas season. Through the
prophet Isaiah and the words and deeds of John the Baptist, we have
been reminded again of the promise of a Savior and his qualities, as
well as the deeds to be prepared for his coming.

At Christmas, we remembered the events surrounding his birth and early
childhood and that his very name means Savior, but that he came to us
in the weak and needy form of a poor infant. Having set aside his power
and might as God, the majesty that was hidden from the eyes of his
neighbors in Galilee, he was simply known as a carpenter from the
remote town of Nazareth, a man like us in all things but sin. Today we
join Jesus at the river Jordan. In ancient biblical times, priests,
prophets and kings were inaugurated as such when they began to hold
office, just as today people voted in or appointed to positions of
responsibility have some kind of swearing-in ceremonies.

Most frequently, the bible speaks of the anointing with oil and the
laying on of hands. In Jesus' case, the Holy Spirit anointed him for
his mission directly through the imagery of the descent of the dove. In
today's first reading, the prophet Isaiah tells us what this mission
was: "Here is my servant whom I uphold. I have endorsed him with my
Spirit that he may bring justice to the nations." "He does not cry
out or shout aloud, or break the crushed reed or quench the wavering
flame." "He brings true justice and he will never waver." "I
have appointed him as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those
who live in darkness from the dungeon."

As we see in the Gospel reading, we are baptized not only in water, but
baptized in the Spirit. This means that we are empowered to do what
Jesus did: "Go about doing good. Most of us understand that the
Church has a mission, but not ourselves personally. We see baptism as a
christening, but not as commissioning us to perform a ministry. We
experience union with Jesus in Holy Communion but we are not inclined
to experience union with him in being delegated by him to carry on his
work. Religion, for many, remains private.

We perceive ourselves as members of a church, rather than as servants
or doers of a cause. In truth, we are baptized for a cause. Our baptism
commissions us to do the work of Jesus according to our capabilities.
In our own right it is our duty to teach, counsel, admonish, heal,
forgive, comfort, feed the hungry, be a light to those in darkness
wherever people need such services and we are in a position to offer

Today, we are invited to always listen to Jesus in whom the Father was
well pleased, that we might benefit from his saving words that will
bring us along the same path that he took. If we make that journey, we
can be sure that this year, will indeed be a happy year. May it be so
for each of us.

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Dr. & Mrs. Celso de los Angeles
- Birthday: John Dano Or
- Prayer Intention: Dionisio Ang
- Prayer Intention: Robert Ang
- In Memoriam (+): Dionisio So
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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© 2007 Daily-Homily

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