Many people are guilty of trying to please others above anything else in their life. They go to extra lengths to live up to the opinions of others, and their behaviors revolve around it. Sometimes the opinion of their families and loved ones take a backseat.
In the Gospel (Mk. 1: 7-11), after Jesus was baptized by John,
“On coming up out of the water He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him. And a voice came from the Heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Today’s Sunday is the last day of the Christmas Season and what follows is the Ordinary Time in the Church’s Liturgical Calendar. It is also the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a transitioning moment from His hidden life in Nazareth to the beginning of His public ministry. This is significant because this is when Jesus revealed to the world who He is, an “epiphany”, a manifestation of His true identity as He prepares to begin His public ministry. It was through the simple and humble act of Baptism performed by John; not a grandiose event in the eyes of the world. The Lord didn’t have to go through it, but in His humility, He went through the experience. He waded through the Jordan in solidarity with sinful, struggling and dirty humanity. During His public ministry, He even dined with sinners, and as expected, it “scandalized” the religious leaders at that time. By these actions, Jesus embraced us as we are, so that we will understand His love for us as something even greater than our own selves. This opened up our lines to Heaven so that we will comprehend better His redeeming act of love for mankind’s salvation.
Even though Jesus is God, He shared our fragile and fickle-minded human nature. There was affirmation from the Heavens when God the Father said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This perfect act of Jesus also opened up Heaven for us. With our own baptism, the appropriate response is the journey towards a deeper commitment to follow Christ and avoid sin and wrongdoing.
This Sunday, reflect on your own life: Who are you giving your full attention and commitment to? Are you giving God the attention that He deserves, as your Creator, King and God? Will He say at the end of your life, that He is “Well pleased” with you?
Dear Lord, thank you for sharing your Baptism with us. May we respond through a deeper commitment to You every day as we journey towards fulfillment of our vows in Baptism, hoping to live fully in unity with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call Him while He is near.” (cf Is. 55: 6)