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The Baptism of the Lord.



Sunday 9th January 2022, Year C.

There is no doubt in Isaiah’s mind that something great is happening, “Go up on a high mountain,” he says, “shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger. Shout without fear, ‘Here is your God coming with power’, subduing all things and bearing the prize of victory. Like a shepherd, he gathers the lambs in his arms,” holding them with love. Feel the energy, the joy the power of God’s glory which radiates everywhere as love and gratitude for the child Jesus fills our hearts!

But! Do we really believe Jesus was fully human?

We have recently celebrated Jesus’ birth in which he became totally dependent on his parents for survival. They even rescued him from a king who wanted to destroy him. He learnt his prayers and his faith from his parents. He learnt about carpentry and house-maintenance from Joseph. His Baptism was not a charade. He wanted and needed the support and love of his Father; he needed the guidance, wisdom and courage that the Holy Spirit offered him just as we do in our baptism. It was important for Jesus to hear the voice of his Father to know that he was truly loved by God and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was fully human. He became angry. He was frustrated by people. He cried for those who died; he suffered more than anyone ever had because he embraced it all for us. He experienced success and failure as we all do. If anyone knew of the challenges and difficulties of life, Jesus did. Being divine made all the challenges and difficulties harder not easier. We cannot want for a better companion through life and we are encouraged because, in his baptism, he shows us that he is fully human and more than anything wants to be our companion, our friend, our brother wanting so much to help us succeed in the mission the Father has entrusted to us.

The Epiphany on the Jordan by Malcolm Guite

Beginning here we glimpse the Three-in-one; the river runs, the clouds are torn apart, the Father speaks, the Sprit and the Son reveal to us the single loving heart that beats behind the being of all things and calls and keeps and kindles us to light. The dove descends, the spirit soars and sings ‘You are belovèd, you are my delight!’

In that quick light and life, as water spills and streams around the Man like quickening rain, the voice that made the universe reveals the God in Man who makes it new again. He calls us too, to step into that river, to die and rise and live and love forever.

by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a