Thought for the Day – 8 January 2018 – Christmastide ends with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – Remembering and Celebrating our Baptisms – Adding a new date to our Calendars!
Today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord ends the Christmas season and invites us to think of our Baptism. Jesus willed to receive the baptism preached and administered by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. It was a baptism of penance: all those who approached it expressed the desire to be purified from sin and, with God’s help, committed themselves to begin a new life.
We understand then the great humility of Jesus, He who had not sinned, put himself in the queue with the penitents, mixing among them, to be baptised in the waters of the river. What humility Jesus has! And, by doing so, He manifested what we celebrated at Christmas: Jesus’ willingness to immerse Himself in the river of humanity, to take upon himself the failures and weaknesses of men, to share their desire of liberation and to overcome all that distances one from God and renders brothers strangers. As at Bethlehem, along the banks of the Jordan God keeps His promise to take charge of the human being’s fate and Jesus is the tangible and definitive sign of it. He took charge of all of us, He takes charge of all of us, in life, in the days.
The feast of Jesus’ Baptism invites every Christian to remember his own Baptism. I can’t ask you the question if you remember the day of your Baptism, because the majority of you were babies, like me…. However, I can ask you another question? Do you know the date on which you were baptised? …And if you don’t know the date or have forgotten it, when you go home ask your mother, your grandmother, your uncle, your aunt, your grandfather, your godfather, your godmother – what was date?
And we must always have that date in our memory, because it’s a date of celebration, it’s the date of our initial sanctification; it’s the date in which the Father gave us the Holy Spirit who pushes us to walk, it’s the date of the great forgiveness.
Don’t forget: what’s the date of my Baptism?
We invoke the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy so that all Christians can understand increasingly the gift of Baptism and commit themselves to live it with coherence, witnessing the love of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. – Pope Francis, Angelus Address, 7 January 2018
So let us do exactly this, this is a date in need of remembrance and celebration, this date of our new birth – I am certainly going to do this for all my family.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Jesus’ solidarity with us
“Jesus shows His solidarity with us, with our efforts to convert and to be rid of our selfishnesss, to break away from our sins in order to tell us that if we accept Him in our life He can uplift us and lead us to the heights of God the Father. And Jesus’ solidarity is not, as it were, a mere exercise of mind and will. Jesus truly immersed himself in our human condition, lived it to the end, in all things save sin and was able to understand our weakness and frailty. For this reason He was moved to compassion, He chose to “suffer with” men and women, to become a penitent with us. This is God’s work which Jesus wanted to carry out: the divine mission to heal those who are wounded and give medicine to the sick, to take upon himself the sin of the world.” ….. From Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on feast of the Baptism of the Lord 2013