Theme: THE REVELATION OF THE LORD AS SON OF GOD AND SUFFERING SERVANT OF GOD
- Isaiah 55:1-11;
- Isaiah 12:2-6. R/ v. 3;
- 1 John 5:1-9
- Mark 1:7-11
1. Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Today is also the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. Like Christmas and Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord is the revelation of the Lord. The Baptism of the Lord is the revelation of the Lord as Son of God and Suffering Servant of God, sent by God to serve, suffer, sacrifice, sanctify and save the world. Thus we read in the gospel today:
“It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water then he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on you.’” (Mk 1:9-11)
The reference “My favor rests on you.” (NJB) or “With you I am well pleased” (CSB) is taken from the first verse of the first suffering servant song of Isaiah (Is 42:1) indicating that Jesus is the suffering servant of God sent by God to save the world. (NJBC)
The same thing happens to us in our Baptism. When we are baptized, we also receive the Holy Spirit and we become the sons/daughters and suffering servants of God, sent by God to serve, suffer, sacrifice, sanctify and save the world. We begin as Jesus did, by proclaiming the good news! (Mk 1:15) Mark 1:15 is the climax of the prologue or introduction (Mk 1:1-15) of Mark’s gospel. (NJBC)
2. The second reading follows the theme of the gospel. The second reading also tells us that Jesus is the Son of God and the Suffering Servant of God, sent by God to save the world. The second reading tells us that Jesus came with water, blood and the Holy Spirit! Water refers to the baptism of Jesus as Son of God, blood refers to the death of Jesus on the cross as Suffering Servant of God, and the Holy Spirit that descended on Jesus at his baptism is poured out upon the whole world at his death and resurrection! Thus we read in the second reading:
“Jesus Christ who came by water and blood, not with water only, but with water and blood; with the Spirit as another witness – since the Spirit is the truth – so that there are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and all three of them agree.” (1 Jn 5:6-8)
The second reading also tells us about the two most important sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist in which we receive the Holy Spirit! In the sacrament of Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit and we become the sons/daughters and suffering servants of God. In the Eucharist we continue to receive the Holy Spirit and we grow as sons/daughters and suffering servants of God, sent by God to serve, suffer and sacrifice, in order to sanctify and save the world. And we begin as Jesus did, by proclaiming the good news! (Mk 1:15)
3. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel and the second reading. The first reading tells us that “God’s salvation is freely extended to his people and to all nations” (CSB) Thus we read in the first reading:
“Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come! Buy corn without money, and eat, and, at no cost, wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not bread, your wages on what fails to satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy. Pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will live.
With you I will make an everlasting covenant out of the favors promised to David. See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples, a leader and a master of the nations. See, you will summon a nation you never knew, those unknown will come hurrying to you, for the sake of the Lord your God, of the Holy One of Israel who will glorify you.” (Is 55:1-5)
4. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us that God’s salvation is freely extended to his people and to all nations. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm (CSB):
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Is 12:3)
And thus the responsorial psalm:
“Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my savior. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples! Declare the greatness of his name.
Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds, make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” (Is 12:2-6)
5. Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us proclaim the good news to the whole world. The Holy Spirit will help us serve, suffer, and sacrifice in order to sanctify and save the whole world! Amen!