Baptism of the Lord

January 9, 2022

January 9, 2022

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January 9, 2022

Baptism of the Lord

Mariángel

Mariángel

Marco Teja

Marco Teja

We have just celebrated at Christmas the arrival of Jesus, the incarnate Son of God.

The incarnation of Jesus implies that he had to learn everything as we do, without being able to spare himself any process of growth. He learned to walk hand in hand with Mary; he matured all his deep humanity in his relationships with others. The thirty years of hidden life in Nazareth were years of maturation, of searching and affirmation of his self-consciousness.

In his personal search for his identity, Jesus approached John the Baptist and mingled with his followers. His standing in line to be baptized can be interpreted as a fact that portrays his attempts and his searching.

Luke, the evangelist, put in the mouth of John that the Messiah will baptize with Spirit and fire (Lk 3:16)

The first to be baptized with Spirit and fire is Jesus himself. Baptism is for Jesus the confirmation of his identity.

This event marked a before and after in the life of Jesus. Jesus would no longer return to Nazareth. The baptism will trigger the beginning of his public life.

What was this strong confirmation that it changed everything? "You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased."

With this identity engraved in fire, Jesus began his public mission filled with the Holy Spirit.

And the essential message that Jesus will transmit in his years of preaching will be the same: to make people believe that they are beloved sons and daughters of God.

Our own baptism is a sacrament that imprints identity. The essence of baptism is exactly that, to make us aware that we are beloved sons and daughters of God. And when we truly believe this, when we live from this deepest truth, everything changes in life.

God works in us from our own humanity. It is very difficult for someone who has never been loved, who is not blessed by anyone, to be able to believe that he/she is loved by God. And, on the contrary, knowing that we live under someone's blessing empowers us, gives us strength for everything. How good it is to know that someone speaks well of us.

Perhaps it would be good to stop for a moment and remember gratefully the people in our lives who bless us. They make God's founding blessing credible to us.

And perhaps we can also ask ourselves how we live the mission of blessing, of speaking well of others, of being mediation of God that affirms others, that makes them aware of their profound identity as beloved sons and daughters of God. Our blessing gives others solid ground on which to stand.

Jesus will exercise the public ministry that begins at his baptism along the lines indicated in the first reading (Is 42:1-4, 6-7): Jesus feels called to liberate, to promote justice, not from power ("he will not cry out"), but from caring. How good it is to know that God never gives up on us, that our life always holds hope for God. Even when we lose hope in ourselves, God is attentive to rescue every life ("the bruised reed he will not break"). We are called to be light for one another.

In the second reading (Acts 10:34-38) Peter will express: " I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right." Yes, God's love is universal.

Discovering and living this foundational love of God makes us missionaries. Great joys cannot be kept.

God's love will only be credible if it goes hand in hand with justice. Faced with the temptation to keep our spirituality in the private sphere, the life of Jesus is a constant effort to make effective the liberation willed by God. Authentic love is translated into deeds, already here, in our today and now; and we well know that even with the smallest gestures of love, God multiplies them and they reach a scope that escapes us.

From there, with the psalm, we sing: "God blesses people with peace.” (Psalm 29)

Today, as a Church, we are immersed in a synodal journey that is rooted precisely in our common baptism, which is what constitutes us as Church.

Celebrating the baptism of Jesus is a good opportunity to renew our own baptism, to listen again in the intimacy of our hearts, until it is engraved in fire in our hearts: "You are my beloved daughter/son"; and to know that we are sent like Jesus to proclaim God's love and to practice justice.

We are all beloved sons and daughters of God, missionaries on the move.

Acabamos de celebrar en la Navidad la llegada de Jesús, Hijo de Dios encarnado.

La encarnación de Jesús implica que tuvo que aprender todo como nosotros, sin poder ahorrarse ningún proceso de crecimiento. Aprendió a caminar de la mano de María; maduró toda su profunda humanidad en las relaciones con los demás. Los treinta años de vida oculta en Nazareth, fueron años de maduración, de búsqueda y afirmación de su autoconciencia.

En ese su camino personal de buscar su identidad, Jesús se acercó a Juan el Bautista, se mezcló con sus seguidores. Su ponerse a la cola para ser bautizado podemos interpretarlo como un hecho que retrata sus tanteos, sus búsquedas.

El evangelista Lucas pone en boca de Juan que el Mesías bautizará con Espíritu y fuego. (Lc 3,16)

El primero que es bautizado con Espíritu y fuego es Jesús mismo. El bautismo supone para Jesús la confirmación de su identidad.

Este hecho marcó un antes y un después en la vida de Jesús. Jesús ya no volverá a Nazaret. El bautismo desencadenará el comienzo de su vida pública.

¿Cuál fue la confirmación tan fuerte que cambió todo? “Tú eres mi hijo, el amado, el predilecto.”

Con esta identidad grabada a fuego, Jesús comenzó su misión pública lleno de Espíritu Santo.

Y el mensaje esencial que Jesús va a trasmitir en sus años de predicación será ese mismo: hacerle creíble a la gente que ellos son hijos e hijas amadas de Dios.

Nuestro propio bautismo es sacramento que imprime identidad. La esencia del bautismo es exactamente esa, hacernos conscientes de que somos hijos e hijas amados de Dios, amados con predilección. Y cuando de verdad nos lo creemos, cuando vivimos desde esa nuestra verdad más honda, todo cambia en la vida.

Dios trabaja en nosotros a partir de nuestra propia humanidad. A alguien que nunca ha sido amado, que no es bendecido por nadie, le es muy difícil poder llegar a creer que es amado por Dios. Y, al contrario, saberse viviendo bajo la bendición de alguien nos empodera, nos da fuerza para todo. Cuánto bien hace saber que alguien habla bien de nosotros.

Quizá sea bueno pararnos un poco a recordar agradecidamente personas que en nuestras vidas nos bendicen. Ellas nos hacen creíble la bendición fundante de Dios.

Y quizá también podamos preguntarnos cómo vivimos la misión de bendecir, de decir bien de otros, ser mediaciones de Dios que afirman a otros, que les hacen conscientes de su profunda identidad de hijos e hijas amados de Dios. Nuestra bendición da a otros tierra firme en la que pisar.

Jesús ejercerá el ministerio público que arranca de su bautismo en la línea que señala la primera lectura (Is 42,1-4,6-7): Jesús se siente llamado para liberar, para promover la justicia, no desde el poder (“no voceará”), sino desde el cuidado. Qué bueno es saber que Dios nunca se da por vencido con nosotros, que nuestra vida siempre alberga esperanza para Dios; aún cuando nosotros perdamos la esperanza en nosotros mismos, Dios está atento a rescatar toda vida (“la caña cascada no la quebrará”). Estamos llamados a ser luz unos para otros.

En la segunda lectura (Hch 10, 34-38) Pedro expresará: “Está claro que Dios no hace distinciones; acepta al que lo teme y practica la justica, sea de la nación que sea.” Sí, el amor de Dios es universal.

Descubrir y vivir de ese amor fundacional de Dios nos hace misioneros. Las grandes alegrías no se pueden guardar.

Sólo haremos creíble a los descartados el amor de Dios si éste va de la mano de la justicia. Contra toda tentación de intimismo, la vida de Jesús es un constante hacer efectiva la liberación querida por Dios. El amor auténtico se traduce en obras, ya aquí, en nuestro hoy y ahora; y bien sabemos que aun los más pequeños gestos de amor, Dios los multiplica y llegan a tener un alcance que se nos escapa.

Desde ahí, con el salmo cantamos “Dios bendice a su pueblo con la paz.” (Salmo 29)

Hoy como Iglesia estamos inmersos en un camino sinodal que hunde sus raíces precisamente en nuestro común bautismo, que es lo que nos constituye como Iglesia.

Celebrar el bautismo de Jesús es una ocasión propicia para renovar nuestro propio bautismo, para volver a escuchar en la intimidad del corazón, hasta que se nos quede grabado a fuego: “Tú eres mi hija amada”; y para sabernos enviados como Jesús a anunciar el amor de Dios y a practicar la justicia.

Todos somos hijos e hijas amados de Dios, misioneros y misioneras en salida.

First Reading

Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Is 40:1-5, 9-11

PSALM

Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10

Second Reading

Acts 10:34-38 or Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7

GOSPEL

Lk 3:15-16, 21-22
Read texts at usccb.org

Mariángel Marco Teja

Mariángel Marco Teja

Mariángel Marco Teja, was born in Asturias, Spain. She is sister of the Congregation Ursulines of Jesus. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and History from the University of Oviedo, Spain. She has always been linked to the world of human rights, in some stages at professional level and in others as voluntary. The six years prior to coming to Canada in April 2019, she lived as a missionary in Ecuador, where she worked with REPAM (Pan-Amazonic Ecclesial Network), whose collaborative ties she maintains to this day. She is eager reader with a constant desire to learn.

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