Vocation Meditation -
Baptism of the Lord, 2011
Used with permission from ChristianComputerArt.Com
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so for now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to Him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."
Both Jesus and John the Baptist knew the real meaning of the baptism that the people of Palestine were seeking: forgiveness of their sins. Jesus needed no conversion. He acknowledged instead the role of John the Baptist in leading men and women to God which is the true path of righteousness.
Through the preaching of John, the movement for penitence and search for God grew in great proportions in Galilee, in the Jordan and around the neighboring regions. When Jesus saw John baptizing, He acknowledged the people's need for conversion and their search for God. By stepping into the waters of the Jordan, Jesus manifested His readiness to take on the task of salvation of the world. His vocation was sealed there. Before John the Baptist, the Jews and the Gentiles present, Jesus needed this moment of revelation. He is the Father's Beloved, His Son sent into the world!
By Jesus' baptism of manifestation and not of conversion, John witnessed the newness of Jesus' presence in the waters of the Jordan. John saw it coming. In Jesus, the era of grace has come. Even the waters of the Jordan 'danced for joy' at the presence of God immersed into its depths. The heavens opened its light and the Spirit hovered upon Jesus.
When all had been accomplished by Jesus from birth to death and through the Church today, the waters of grace have continually flowed to the world and to our hearts. The grace of baptism is always calling and reminding us to live as God's dearly beloved children.
"Then, John consented."
Am I aware that every time I consent to my vocation to love and obey, I make Jesus known?
In Jesus, the waters of grace has forever flowed from Your heart to mine. Thank you for the grace of adoption. Thank you for the life of the Trinity with which you have clothed me. By the gift of Baptism I gained the Christian identity no one can take away from me. Help me to live my vocation as Your child, ever conscious of my dignity while respecting that of others, in righteousness and healing love. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.