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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sunday is the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

Jesus grew up in Nazareth and led a hidden life until he was probably around thirty years old! That seems strange to us today as the youth are off to college, finding jobs, taking trips and exploring the world before they are thirty. Maybe we need to reflect on this hidden life where Jesus was growing in wisdom and grace and preparing for his public ministry.
I feel that Jesus was really in the dark about what His Father wanted and so he waited and prayed and increased his own faith. Then came the inner urge to go to be baptized by John in the Jordan. John tried to prevent it so he must have recognized Jesus and known of him from his parents.
Jesus is baptized then and immediately he is given insight into his mission. He heard the voice saying "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
This was an affirmation that would stay with Jesus as the Spirit then led him into the desert. We think of those 40 days of fasting in the desert as the time of temptation; I suspect the first days were really a joyous communion with his Father and further insight into his mission. Jesus knew he was called by God, but only in prayer did he find out what God wanted of him, day by day. I think the Baptism was one of those peak moments and Jesus now is going to be sent by God to proclaim the Good News.

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