Monday 30 November 2015

Baptism of the Lord, year ’C’ Baptême du Seigneur, année ’C’

“You are my Son, today I have fathered you.”

Is.40,1-11 Tt.2,11-14,3-4-7 Lk.3,15-16.21-22

Baptism of the Lord, year ’C’

“A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were wondering to wonder whether Jesus was the Christ, so John declared before them all, ’I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, who is more powerful than me.”

With the feast of the Baptism of Jesus, the liturgical year of Christmas comes to a close. We enter into ’Ordinary Time’ because a whole new life is offered to us.

Jesus asks for Baptism, he who is in no need of conversion, because not only had he wanted to take on our human condition, bur he also wanted to show that he is in solidarity with sinful humanity, which, by the call of John the Baptist, comes to be purified in a baptism of water. It is while he is in prayer that the heavens open and there comes about a new manifestation of God who reveals Himself to be Trinity : Jesus is at the centre, the Son is fathered by the Father ; He makes his voice heard, and the Holy Sprit, in a physical form, like a dove, comes down upon Jesus and Jesus is anointed by Him.

As we follow Jesus, a new adventure is proposed to us, and it is John the Baptist who announces this new step : ’John declared before them all :’ I baptise you with water, but someone is coming who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.“”He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

Jesus comes to introduce us into the Life of the Trinity ; He will immerge you, plunge you into the waters of death so that you will be energized and receive the Holy Spirit, the ’Sacred Breath’, the Fire! At Pentecost, we receive this Holy Spirit, in the form of tongues of fire. It really is a sacred fire that warms up our world again, getting us to taste the joy and warmth of loving, of sharing and of living fully.

The announce is so strong that they all wonder if John wasn’t the Messiah! Yet John had said, ’I baptise you with water, but someone is coming who is going to baptise in the Holy Spirit.“The new way has opened up ; Jesus is here, amongst sinners, He who is the Immaculate One, the Word of God made flesh. He is here and he asks John the Baptist to be baptised by him. We know how John has taken a distance : ’Lord, it is you who must baptise me!’”Let all justice be accomplished’ said Jesus, for the grace of God, source of salvation for all mankind has made itself known, teaching us to renounce impiety and greediness of this world, so as to live reserved in this present time , in justice and piety, waiting for the blessed hope and for the Apparition of Glory of our Great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus, who gave himself up for us to buy us back from all iniquity and so as to purify a people who belongs to Him as his very own, zealous to do good.“Now it happened when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus, after his own baptism, was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Sprit descended on him in a physical form, like a dove. And a voice was heard from heaven : ’You are my Beloved Son; today I have fathered you.”

Baptism inaugurated in us the death of the former man in us and brought about the birth of a new man. Renewed by the Holy Spirit, he opens up in us the path of an intimacy that will never cease growing at every stage of our history, as long as we live out this promise made by God Himself :

’You are my beloved child, in whom I have placed all my Love.’

Let us give thanks for all that our baptism has allowed up until now and quite simply for the fact of being here this morning, united amongst baptised people, seeking to know better and to make Body with the Beloved Son by excellence, in an even better way : ’ He doesn’t jealously keep his filiation but has it shared with us.’

We enter into Ordinary Time, as a baptised people, filled with a Sacred Breath and with the Fire of our God who burns and warms without being consumed, for he is nothing but Love and He helps us in this daily combat, so as to have the new man grow within us.

Jesus is here with us, the’ strongest one’, all humble, and in solidarity with sinful humanity. What is quite remarkable for us is that he is in constant link

with his Father who sent him, and that , through Him, he is going to save the whole world. By the bath of Baptism, he has us be born again and has us renewed in the Holy Spirit.

We ask fro the grace of humility and littleness so as to dwell in the gift of the Baptism of Jesus.