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Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Baptism of the Lord

 Today's Feast celebrates the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. He has left home and gone to find John the Baptist who is preaching and baptizing in the Jordan river. It is an important moment in the life of Jesus. He had been living in a small town and fitting in so well that his friends and neighbors did not think he was different; he was the carpenter's son. But at the moment of his baptism, we read today in the Gospel of Mark 1:7-11 that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. "On coming out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, 'You are m beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

There is so much to reflect on today. It must have been painful for Jesus to leave his mother; tradition has always believed that Joseph had died so that made it harder for Jesus to leave home as he no doubt had been supporting her since he had learned carpentry from Joseph. Scholars think Jesus was at least thirty years old when he began his public life. He began with an act of humility, being baptized with the sinners who came to John from all over. I am not sure that Jesus had a clear idea of what His Father wanted Him to do, but it must have been a tremendous consolation to see the Spirit descending on Him and hear the Father saying: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

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