Jan 12 2020 Reflection
Sunday 12 January 2020
First Reading: IS 42:1-4, 6-7
The Lord will bless his people with peace.
PS 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
Gospel Reading: MT 4:12-17, 23-25
Today’s Note: The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
He shall bring forth justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)
Today marks the end of the Christmas season. The stories of Jesus’ birth are over. Baptized by John and filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus is now ready to proclaim the good news. So let’s take a quick look back at some of the events that have brought us to this point.
We began Advent reading about how all the nations will stream to God’s holy mountain (Isaiah 2:1-5). But after that, we read mostly about humble, everyday people: the elderly priest Zechariah; Joseph, a prayerful carpenter and his young wife, Mary; shepherds on a hillside. There’s a short journey to Bethlehem, a simple birth, and a child in swaddling clothes. About the most glamorous event was a visit from some mysterious figures from the East.
So where are the “nations” that Isaiah prophesied?
Today’s feast offers an answer. Jesus isn’t waiting for the world to come to him; he is going out to it. He will accept baptism and then go out and “bring forth justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1). Filled with the Holy Spirit, he will travel all over Palestine and “open the eyes of the blind, . . . bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness” (42:7).
Ever since the day of his baptism, Jesus has been going out into the world. First he did it himself. Then he sent out Peter and Paul and the other apostles. And now he is sending you.
But don’t worry; he’s not sending you out alone. You are part of the “world” that Jesus is going out to minister to. Today and every day, he comes to fill you with the same Spirit that filled him at his baptism. So place yourself in today’s readings. You are God’s child, and he is pleased with you. He is asking you to “bring forth justice” to the little corner of “the nations” where you live—and he is with you to help you do it.
“Here I am, Lord! Send me out to share your good news.”