Something to think and pray about this week
Begin by recalling some special moment between yourself and your parents. Did you ever hear from them the equivalent of ‘This is (or ‘you are’) my son, my daughter, the beloved: my favour rests on you’? In Jesus’ ministry, on several occasions, he felt such a word from his Abba, his Father. His baptism by John was one such moment, as was the Transfiguration later on. Such deep love and affirmation grounded him as a human being and as God’s prophet to the people of Israel. Our sense of calling grows out of our relationship with the Father, whose beloved we are, whose favour we too enjoy.
It is surprising that Jesus, the Saviour of the world, asks to be baptised by John. The request symbolises his desire to identify with us. At the same time, he is filled with the Holy Spirit. That step of identifying with us is an important element in his being able to help us. Have you ever found that when someone identifies with you, it is easier for him/her to help you? Has your ability to identify with others had any impact on your effectiveness in helping others?
Excerpted from Hearers of the Word: Praying and Exploring the Readings for Advent and Christmas: Year A by Kieran J O’Mahony OSA
(p: 181 & 187)