You are My Beloved Son, With You I am Well Pleased

01-09-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord effectively brings to a close the liturgical season of Christmas and gives way to the very rich period of “Ordinary Time” within the Liturgical calendar for Christ Himself, His baptism marked the beginning of His public ministry. He would continue from where His precursor was and effect the establishment of the reign of God on earth.

The Gospel of St. Luke recounts how, at that time, the people filled with expectation, wondered if John might be the Christ. They had heard the prophets predict strange things that would happen around the Messiah, and John seemed to fi t into the description given of the Messiah, but he refused to confirm any exaggerated opinion of his person and mission. He told the people the Messiah would come after him, that He (Christ) was mightier than him (John) and that He (Christ) would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fi re. Often when we achieve anything plausible, when we allow God to use us to touch the lives of others, the recipients of God’s providential benevolence through us may feel the natural urge to express sentiments of gratitude through a generous outpouring of encomiums and adulations. For many of us, it is almost an irresistible temptation to desire receiving obsequious flattery and to bask in the glory of our acknowledged benevolence. John teaches us simplicity, humility and honesty which are essential ingredients for a balanced spirituality. The realization that we are all uniquely blessed and loved by God, and that everyone is important in God’s ultimate plan, is a sure path to attaining peace of soul.

Again, after John baptized Jesus and as He was praying, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove while The Father confirmed His Sonship and mission by publicly declaring: “This is my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased.” Here we are treated to a sacred activity of the Triune God. God reveals himself as One, yet each person in the Trinity is distinct, and in unity the Trinity collaborates at the beginning of the public ministry of the Son. When we have the Trinity in us and stay connected through prayer and communion, it becomes notably easier to be what we ought to be: united children of God collaborating with each other to fulfill our Christ given mandate of proselytizing the world and ensuring a permanent duration to the reign of God on earth.

May we recall joyfully our own baptism and commit ourselves to our baptismal promises. May the grace of Humility be granted to us so we can witness to the truth without seeking vainglory, and may God be pleased

with the sacrifice of our service to each other. Please be kind and may God bless you.

Fr. Manasseh