THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
January 9-15, 2022
The Baptism of the Jesus. Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7. Acts of the Apostles 10:34-38. Luke 3:15-16,21-22.
The unfolding of the salvation story continues with the Baptism of Jesus and his public life. “He did not start in Jerusalem, the religious, social and political center, but in Galilee, an area on the outskirts, an area looked down upon by the most observant Jews because of the presence in the region of various foreign peoples…It is a borderland, a place transit where various people of different races, cultures and religions converge.” Pope Francis in “The Gospel of Matthew…” Right from the beginning of Jesus’ public life we are given the example of the world in which we are to minister and bring the Good News.
Who better than John the Baptist to declare Jesus as the Lamb of God, the one whose shoelaces he was not worthy to untie? He directed his disciples to follow Jesus and declared solemnly that he himself was not the Christ. The Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Lo. The heavens opened as Jesus was baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, indeed, came down on him and God the Father said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear you him.” The mystery of the Trinity is revealed in this moment. This is also where we get the use of the symbol of the dove for the Holy Spirit, the often forgotten third person of the Trinity.
In Isaiah we hear what to expect of the Christ, the Messiah. He is to be a servant and Isaiah uses the same words we hear from God, “The chosen one with whom I am pleased.” God will “put his spirit upon him.”
This Messiah will call forth the victory of justice – right relationship. Everything Isaiah predicted was fulfilled in Jesus.
In the Acts of the Apostles we see the emphasis that God shows “no partiality.” After the conversion of Cornelius and his household who were Gentiles and the descending of the Spirit upon them, this sign convinced St. Peter that this Church of which he was the head was for all people. It was broader than any one people or nation. We can be thankful for this revelation and the direction that the Church took in including all people in its ministry. God’s love is boundless and embraces all.
As the Christmas season closes the message and spirit of the Incarnation doesn’t. The Gospel is an ongoing event or it can be said, a living Gospel. Each of us adds something to this story as it unfolds throughout history. It is ever being re-born, re-created in us as we step forward into each day and take up the cross and follow Jesus. We can walk in his footprints and touch the lives of others with healing and love. So, a little bit of Christmas graces each of our days. “Merry” be our days as servants of the Lord.
May the divine mercy and love of God fill your lives with peace, joy and hope,
Sister Rosemarie Goins, a Felician Franciscan Sister