Baptism of the Lord (Year C)

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Baptism of the Lord – based on the Gospel

By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu cssp

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The RICE of Baptism

 In Nigeria the baptism of a child is usually followed by a happy reception where children are sure to eat one thing, rice. As a result, the baptism dress is sometimes referred to as your rice dress. Thinking of baptism easily makes people think of rice. And sometimes when you are talking of the rites of baptism, all they hear is the rice of baptism. Though the connection between baptism and rice is altogether accidental, one can utilise it as a memory aid for the meaning of baptism.

What does baptism mean? The meaning of baptism can be found in the four letters of the word RICE. “R” stands for Rebirth. In baptism we are born again by water and the Holy Spirit. We are cleansed from original sin and become sons and daughters of God in a special way. “I” stands for Initiation. At baptism we are initiated or admitted into full membership in the church, the community of the children of God in the world. “C” is for Consecration. In baptism we consecrate and dedicate ourselves to seek and to spread the kingdom of God. We commit ourselves to be servants of God, to do God’s will and serve God with our whole lives. And “E” is for Empowerment. At baptism the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and empowers us, equips us, gives us the moral strength to say no to evil and to live as God’s children that we have become.

These four effects of baptism can be divided into two categories, the passive effects (what we receive from God and the people of God), namely, rebirth, initiation, and empowerment; and the active effect (what we give to God and the people of God), namely, our commitment and dedication to a cause, to spread the kingdom of God. One problem people have with today’s gospel is to understand why Jesus needed to be baptized. An understanding of the “rice” of baptism as we have tried to explain can help.

Looking at the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan, we find that Jesus did not need a rebirth since he was from all eternity the only begotten child of God. He had no original sin to be cleansed from. Did Jesus need initiation? Yes. Being human, Jesus needed to associate and to identify with the community of men and women who were dedicated to promoting the cause of the kingdom of God. When it comes to serving God, no one is an island. We need to interact with other children of God. We need the community of faith just as Jesus did. We need the church. What about empowerment? The Holy Spirit, the power of the Most High, who descended on Jesus at his baptism strengthened and empowered him. It was at his baptism that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; [and] he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:37-38). And consecration? Baptism for Jesus was a moment of self-consecration, a moment of self-dedication. For him it was a commitment to do whatever was necessary to promote the cause of the kingdom of God on earth.

We read that soon after Jesus’ baptism, John was arrested and the Kingdom of God movement needed a new leadership. When Jesus heard it he went up and took on the task, in this way implementing the commitment he made at his baptism to promote the kingdom of God. We can see that for Jesus baptism was not just a question of what he could receive but very much a question of what he could contribute to the cause of the kingdom of God on earth. John F. Kennedy’s saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country” can also be applied to our relationship with God and the Church.

What are we doing, each one of us, to promote the kingdom of God? Are we ready to consecrate and dedicate ourselves wholly to the service of the kingdom of God just as Jesus did? If not, what are we doing to support those who have consecrated themselves to doing this work in the name of us all? Let us today with Jesus renew our baptismal commitment to bear witness to the Good News of the kingdom of God in word and in deed.

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Baptism of the Lord – based on the Epistle

By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu cssp

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The Grace of Baptism

 Years ago, there was a conference in England to discuss the question, “What makes Christianity different from all the other religions of the world?” At the conference, some suggested that Christianity is unique in its teaching that God became a human being. It was pointed out that the Hindu religion has many instances of God coming to earth as human. Others suggested that it is the belief in the resurrection. Again it was pointed out that other faiths believe that the dead rise again. The debate grew loud and heated until C. S. Lewis, the great defender of Christianity, came in. “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked. When he was told that it was a question of the uniqueness of Christianity, he said, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.”

On this feast day of the Baptism of the Lord, the second reading from the Letter to Titus focuses not on Jesus but on us as people who have been saved through the grace of baptism. “For when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4-5). Here we see the meaning of grace. G-R-A-C-E spells God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. The salvation we have received is not in payment for any good works we might have done but a free and unconditional gift of God. In baptism God wipes away all our sins and no longer holds us accountable for them.

C.S. Lewis is right when he says that the doctrine of grace makes the Christian faith unique among all other faiths. Other religions hold that God rewards the just and punished the wicked. We have all heard about the Hindu law of karma that holds that we must pay for every sinful thought, word, and deed that we do, and that if we do not pay for them satisfactorily in this life, then we shall reincarnate and come back to life on earth to continue paying for them. The Christian faith also believes in the justice of God. As St Paul admonished us “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:7-9). But we also believe that God forgives us our trespasses and treats us much better than we deserve. This is grace. This is unmerited favour. Baptism which makes us God’s children in a special way is a good example of grace.

There are no preconditions for receiving God’s grace. That is why even babies can receive baptism. There are no requirements, but there are consequences. This is brought out in today’s second reading: “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly” (Titus 2:11-12). God’s grace brings us salvation, but it also requires us henceforth to renounce worldliness and embrace godliness. To receive God’s grace is free and unconditional. But to remain in God’s grace demands a response from us. This response is, on the one hand, that we say no the devil and to the temptation to run our own lives according to our selfish and worldly inclinations, and, on the other hand, that we submit to God and lead our lives in submission to God’s holy will. In order words, we who have received the grace of baptism must endeavour to live up to our baptismal promises.

As we celebrate today the baptism of our lord Jesus in the Jordan, let us thank God for the free gift of salvation through the grace of baptism. Let us also earnestly ask him for the grace to keep us faithful to our baptismal promises to say no to Satan and all his false promises and to say yes to God even unto death.

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The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ

DERIVED from the Greek word bapto or baptize, baptism literally means to “plunge” or “immerse” into water.

In the Roman Catechism, baptism is the sacrament of initiation into Christianity. This sacrament which is called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit” is symbolized with water which represents life, death, cleansing, and growth. In Christian belief, through the sacrament of baptism, persons are freed from their sins, original and actual, reborn as sons of God, and made sharers in His mission.

Today, we commemorate the Solemnity of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, an occasion which closes Christmastide.

In the pre-Vatican II calendar of the Catholic Church, this feast was observed on January 13 while the celebration of Epiphany was fixed on January 6. In our present Roman liturgical calendar, we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the day right after Epiphany, which is on the first Sunday after New Year’s Day.

Jesus, coming from Nazareth of Galilee, submitted Himself to John the Baptist in the Jordan River to be baptized. When He emerged out of the water, He saw the heavens open and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. And He heard a voice from heaven: “Thou art My beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased.” (Mk 1:7-11).

The celebration should not focus on the rite of baptism itself but on the significance of Jesus’ baptism. We should be reminded that with His baptism, He allowed Himself to be one among the sinners. He accepted His mission as God’s suffering servant, anticipated the “baptism” of His bloody death, and consented to His baptism of death for the redemption of our souls from sin.

Let today’s feast be an opportunity for the whole family to be aware of the sacrament of baptism. As children were baptized as infants, parents can explain the baptismal rites with photographs of their baptism as visual reminder of their initiation into the Christian life.

Let us remember that we as children of God were reborn in baptism.

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Editorial

Feast of the Lord’s Baptism

January 9, 2010, 8:28pm

Manila Bulletin

With today’s celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, we culminate the holy season of Christmas. Today’s feast is considered the “second manifestation” of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first, which is the Epiphany of our Lord, was celebrated last Sunday.

If the Solemnity of the Epiphany of Jesus Christ emphasizes the revelation of the light of salvation who is Jesus our Lord, this “second manifestation” of our Lord Jesus Christ marks the beginning of His public ministry. There is, according to some Church fathers, a third manifestation. This is the first miracle performed by Jesus during the wedding feast at Cana. These Church fathers believe that Jesus’ miraculous deed revealed Jesus’ divinity.

The Baptism of the Lord has historically been associated with the celebration of Epiphany. Even today, the feast of Theophany, celebrated on January 6 by the Greek Orthodox Church as a counterpart to the Roman Catholic Feast of the Epiphany, focuses primarily on the Baptism of the Lord as the revelation of God to man. Why do we remember the Baptism of Jesus? The Church wants to stress through this liturgical feast the importance and significance of baptism in our Christian lives.

Through baptism, we not only become formal members of the institutional Church, which makes baptism the Rite of Initiation. By virtue of our baptism, we also are given a mission to proclaim the Good News of Salvation to all. That is why many theologians today regard baptism as a sacrament of commissioning, that is, through this sacrament, we are being sent to the world to announce the goodness of our Lord. It is precisely because of this that Jesus willed that He be baptized by John the Baptist. He did not need cleansing. He simply wanted us to realize that like Him, we, too, are called to evangelize. This is our baptismal calling.

As we remember today Jesus’ Baptism in the River Jordan, we call to mind our own baptism. We, too, have been called to proclaim the Good News of Salvation. May we all be faithful to that mission.

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Word Alive

Baptism needs follow-up

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

January 8, 2010, 4:18pm

Manila Bulletin

One time three pastors were discussing about cats invading their churches. The Baptist minister said he put the cats in bags and threw them in a nearby river. In spite of that, the cats survived and there were twice as many there the next week.

* * *

The Methodist minister said they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creation. So he confided they humanely trapped the cats and set them free many miles outside town. But three days later, the cats were back.

* * *

But the Catholic priest bragged that he had the best and most effective solution. He said, “I simply baptized them and I haven’t seen them in church since then!”

Obviously, that’s just a joke but it illustrates a sad reality that after baptism many Christians are never seen in church again.

* * *

This Sunday we commemorate the baptism of the Lord. What’s the significance of Jesus’ baptism? First, it declares WHO he is – God’s own Son as the Scriptures clearly attest: “This is my beloved Son.

On you my favor rests” (Mk 1:11).

* * *

Second, it declares what He will do. This is expressed by the prophet Isaiah in the first reading of this Sunday.

His mission as God’s Servant was to bring justice to the nations, open the eyes of the blind, to release captives free (Is 42:1-4, 6-7).

* * *

Similarly, our own baptism means two things. It not only proclaims publicly our new membership of the Church, but also empowers us to DO the good works Jesus did.

* * *

It is to the immense credit of our Christian parents that they take to heart the baptism of their children – even if some have to borrow money to spend for a baptismal party! It seems, however, that there is a lack of follow-up afterwards.

* * *

For instance, many baptized kids grow up grossly ignorant of religious instructions and their duties as Christians.

In effect, they grow up as nominal Christians or Christians in name only.

* * *

Somebody called these “KBL Christians” (Kasal, Binyag, Libing). They go to church only three times in their lives – when baptized, married, buried. Or, as an Englishman put it: “When they are ‘hatched, matched, and dispatched’ (to the cemeteries or crematoriums).”

* * *

The theologian Bernard Cooke in his book Christian Sacraments and Christian Personality writes: “Our baptism is not an action which happens once and has no further significance for our life. Rather, all the significance of this sacrament passes dynamically into the daily living of the Christian.”

* * *

Concretely, what that means for us today includes services like volunteering our help in parish projects; joining some religious organizations that reach out to the less fortunate; showing sympathy to the bereaved; or witnessing as a good Christian family man or government official.

* * *

I have a friend, Judge Maximiano Savellano, who retired after years of sterling service as a judge of Manila. He takes to heart his Catholic faith, reading the Bible regularly, organizing religious activities in and out of his office.

He also exhorts young lawyers to be honest and just in performing their duties.

This judge understands well that the task of evangelization belongs not only to bishops and priests but also to all baptized Christians.

* * *

Ask yourself: Are you aware of your duties and responsibilities as a baptized Christian? Do you consider Sunday Mass going only as your Christian duty or do you also contribute your three Ts (Time, Talent, and Treasure) as part of your baptismal commitment?

May the baptism of the Lord remind us of our calling and duties as baptized Christians.

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Moments
Membership dues and duties

By Fr. Jerry Orbos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:38:00 01/09/2010

A PRIEST SERVING IN A RICH PARISH ONCE commented: “When I start the Mass and see my congregation, I ask myself ‘where are the poor?’ After the Mass, when I see the collection, I ask myself ‘where are the rich?’”

* * *

Today is the Solemnity of the Lord’s Baptism. In today’s Gospel (Lk. 3, 15-16, 21-22), after Jesus was baptized by John, a voice came from heaven that said: “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.” By virtue of our own baptism, we too have become sons and daughters in the Son. By the very same baptism, we too are called to live lives pleasing to the Father.

* * *

We who are baptized have become members of the church and members of Christ’s Mystical Body. As members, we have privileges. But, as members we too have dues and duties. Please check your membership card today. There is no expiry date to our membership. It is permanent and indelible. But please check if you are still an active bona fide member, in good standing. By the way, our membership dues and duties are non-transferable, and cannot be delegated to others. Each one of us must do our mission. Baptism is our initiation for a mission.

* * *

To “remember” literally means to become a member again. Let us remember our own baptism, by renewing our baptismal promises “to reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God’s children; to reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin; to reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness.” To remember also means to profess and live our faith once again.

* * *

PO3 Arman Bonifacio, a 42-year-old seasoned diver of the Philippine Coast Guard of 20 years, lost his life during retrieval operations recently. Here was a man who not only professed, but also lived his faith in line with what Jesus said: “Greater love than this no one has than to lay down one’s life for one friend.” May he be a deep reminder for us to really carry out our dues and duties as members of Christ’s body.

* * *

On our Centennial Year, the Philippine SVD Central Province, in cooperation with St. Jude Catholic School, Manila will be giving Mission Awards on Jan. 29, 2010 to individuals, groups and institutions who have demonstrated exemplary mission commitment. Fr. Leo Schmitt, SVD, a German missionary who arrived in the Philippines in 1959, will receive the St. Arnold Janssen Award for his significant work as a builder of communities, and as a helper of the oppressed through Action Leaven and the Samahang Bagong Buhay Foundation. He also helped establish two parishes in the Diocese of Antipolo. By the way, Father Schmitt, SVD has renounced his German citizenship “to show his commitment in alleviating the pangs of poverty and homelessness among the poor.” It would be good for all of us the baptized to ask ourselves today: What have I given up, what have I done for my Master?

* * *

Today marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. That is not to say though that the Christmas spirit of love, peace, giving and sharing should also end. May we all continue doing ordinary everyday things with much love and extraordinary fervor in response to our baptismal call and mission.

* * *

On my radio program “Light Moments” last Saturday (9-10:30 p.m., dzMM Tele-radyo) I had as guests 16-year-old Fatima Soriano, 12-year-old MM Soriano and 9-year-old Miggy Ycasiano. Midway through our conversation, I don’t know what came to my mind but I left them there and told them to discuss on the air among themselves what gift they can give to the newborn Baby Jesus. As I listened to them in the next booth, I was so touched and inspired by their simplicity, honesty and fervor to make the Lord happy. May the children remind us not to lose our zeal and desire to make the Lord happy.

* * *

Let us take time today to say a prayer for our parents who had us baptized, the priest who baptized us, the baptismal godparents who promised to stand by us and our own baptismal godchildren who we likewise promised to help and guide.

* * *

If God were looking at you right now, would He be smiling and pleased with the life you are living? Or, would He be so concerned and sad about you and the kind of life that you are in? May we all live lives pleasing to the Father! And if the Lord were looking at the Philippines right now, would He be smiling, or shaking His head in dismay at the poverty of our people, and the blatant arrogance and dishonesty so prevalent among our leaders these days?

* * *

By the way, membership in the church is not exclusive, nor is it elitist. Let us ask the Lord, today, to shake us when we become sleepy, disturb us when we become too comfortable, move us when we become complacent and surprise us when we become too guarded and predictable.

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to renew my baptismal membership today, and do my dues and duties. Amen.

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Word Alive

Baptism Not A Passive Sacrament

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

January 11, 2013, 6:37pm

Manila Bulletin

Today we commemorate the baptism of the Lord. When the Lord waded down the River Jordan and was baptized by John, the sacrament of baptism was inaugurated.

It is to the immense credit of Christian parents that they take to heart the baptism of their children.

* * *

It seems, however, that many baptized kids grow up grossly ignorant of religious instructions and their obligations as Christians. In effect, they turn out to be Christians in name only or Christians who come to church three times in their whole lifetime – when they are “hatched, matched, dispatched” …to the cemetery or memorial garden.

* * *

One time three parish priests were discussing about bat-infestation in their churches. “I got so mad,” said one, “I took a shotgun and fired at them. Some got killed but the majority are still up there.”

“I tried pesticide spray,” said the second priest, “but those damn bats gave birth to new ones.”

“I haven’t had any more problems,” said the third parish priest. “What did you do?” asked the interested two. “I simply baptized them,” he replied. “I haven’t seen them in church ever since!”

* * *

Indeed, like those bats, after baptism many Christians are never seen in church again.

The theologian Bernard Cooke in his book Christian Sacraments and Christian Personality writes: “Our baptism is not an action which happens once and has no further significance for our life. Rather, all the significance of this sacrament passes dynamically into the daily living of the Christian.”

* * *

In other words, it is not enough for us just to accept baptism passively or as something done to us. We must also allow it to become an operative power impelling us to act as Christ did.

The absence of this “operative power” of baptism engenders a piety that’s split between faith and practice in day-to-day life.

* * *

For instance, we pride ourselves as the only Christian country in Asia yet ironically we have a high level of crime and violence which involves even law enforcers.

Then while there’s tangible effort at eradicating graft and corruption, there are still agencies where such irregularities refuse to die.

There are many reasons behind the social maladies but one could be that our Christian faith and morals have not really permeated and influenced the various spheres of socio-economic and political life.

* * *

Once I was trying to settle the quarrel between two feuding relatives. “Let’s forgive one another,” I appealed, “because Christ told us to forgive.”

The lady shot back with a reply that almost floored me: “Father, puede ba, huwag natin isali ang Diyos sa usapan na ito!” (Father, please, let’s not include God in this talk!).

It’s not enough to be baptized. Baptismal faith should grow and mature. For it to be authentic, such faith should influence our day-to-day life and relationships.

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Moments

Please ‘lang’

By Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD
Philippine Daily Inquirer

8:30 pm | Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Did you know the origin of the term “promissory note”? Someone texted me that it comes from two words—“promise” and “sorry.” As often happens, someone makes a promise, and when unable to fulfill it, he/she just says “sorry.”

* * *

Today is the Solemnity of the Lord’s Baptism. We who have been baptized in our Lord Jesus Christ are reminded today of our baptismal promises to reject Satan, and to live lives pleasing to the Father. Take a look at the life you are living now. Are you living a life that is pleasing to our loving God and Father?

* * *

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 3, 15-16. 21-22), after Jesus was baptized by John a voice came from heaven that said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” A lot of people today carry the I-am-the-captain-of-my-soul stance, emphasizing heroic humanism without God. However, our stance is that of humility and obedience to someone greater than you and I, living a life anchored on God’s vision and mission.

* * *

Take note that there is one other important character in today’s Gospel—John the Baptist. Take note further that he just sort of fades away into the background. That is one of the most important lessons John the Baptist teaches us—humility and obedience. “He must increase. I must decrease.”

* * *

For whom, for what, are you waking up every day? The poor farmers or daily workers wake up every morning filled with gratitude and hope that they will earn enough to keep their family alive. The more complicated people wake up each morning to make more money to achieve their selfish agenda and to continue their comfortable lifestyles. Who do you think are living lives that are pleasing to God?

* * *

Do you think a person involved in drugs or gambling is living a life pleasing to God? Or someone who steals money from the people, especially from the little ones? Do you think a public official who steals, cheats, and lies is a person pleasing to God? Anyone who hurts, uses, controls and manipulates others is definitely not pleasing to God.

* * *

What sort of children are pleasing to the Father? First, contemptuous children are not pleasing to the Father. Those who disrespect or altogether despise Him with pride do not honor the Father. Remember that pride and arrogance have caused many to wander and fall.

* * *

Second, complaining children are not pleasing to the Father, or to parents, for that matter. There are children who have forgotten to be grateful, and who always see what is missing and forget to give thanks for their blessings. How sweet it is to hear “Thank you” from a truly grateful child! May we live grateful lives. Gratitude, indeed, is the best attitude.

* * *

Third, children who keep comparing themselves and their fate to others betray their lack of trust in God’s providence and love. How painful for parents to be accused of favoritism and lack of love. Remember, as the Desiderata says:  “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always, there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.”

* * *

Fourth, children who control and subsequently do harm to or hurt others are not pleasing to God. Those who get going at the expense of others make God unhappy, angry, sad. Parents, for that matter, experience so much joy when they see their children united in peace and in love.

* * *

Speaking of parents, the parents of my Mama lived long and blessed lives. Her father, Tomas Muñoz, died at the age of 89, and her mother, Laurentina Galicia, died at the age of 98. Mama, by her words and example, have shown us how obedient and loving she was to her parents. May we all do likewise to our parents, to our very God!

* * *

Last Jan. 6 at UST church, as I was about to go down the altar steps to distribute communion, I was met by a smiling toddler who sat down on the steps all throughout the communion, waving and smiling at everyone. It was such a heartwarming sight, reminding me that the Baby Jesus is He whom we receive in communion, and who invites everyone to come and receive Him. The child was happy as people kept coming, but there was a certain sadness in her face when the communion line stopped, and there were many in the church who did not come forward.

* * *

Think about it: “Courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity, choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience, truth over popularity. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do what is right.”

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to live a life that is pleasing to nobody, nobody but You. Amen.

Source: opinion.inquirer

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KAHANGALAN NG DIYOS: Reflection for the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism Year C – January 13, 2013 – Year of Faith

Ang Kapistahang ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon ay may pagkakahawig sa kapistahang ipinagdiwang natin noong nakaraang Linggo. Sa katanuyan, ang tawag din sa kapistahang ito ay “Ikalawang Epipanya o Pagpapakita kay Jesus”. Ano naman kaya ang ipinahayag ni Jesus sa kapistahang ito at ano ang itinuturo nito sa atin? “May isang lasing na naglalakad sa isang madilim na kalsada. Dala ng kanyang kalasingan ay hindi niya napansin ang isang malaki at malalim na hukay sa kanyang daraanan. Natural, nalaglag siya sa hukay! Natauhan siya at nang makitang may kalaliman ang hukay ay naglakas-loob na s’yang sumigaw upang humingi ng tulong. Mabuti na lang at may isang lalaki ring napadaan sa hukay ng makita ang lasing sa ibaba ay bigla s’yang tumalon! Laking pagkagulat ng lasing at tinanong siya: “Anung ginagawa mo dito?” Sagot ng lalaki: “Narinig ko ang sigaw mo… medyo mahina, kaya tumalon ako para tulungan ka… para mas malakas ang sigaw natin!” hehe… May katangahan din naman ang taong iyon kung ating iisipin. Pero ganyan ang ginawa ng Diyos nang Siya ay nagdesisyong maging tao. Tumalon Siya sa hukay upang samahan tayo. Nakiisa Siya sa atin.  Ito ang kahangalan ng Diyos: sa kabila ng Kanyang kadakilaan ay pinili Niyang kunin ang ating abang kalagayan.  Ang Kapistahan ng Pagbibinyag kay Jesus ay nagsasabi sa atin ng katotohanang ito at kapupulutan nating ng mga sumusunod na aral: Una, si Jesus na Anak ng Diyos, na walang bahid na kasalanan, ay nakiisa sa ating mga makasalanan sa pamamagitan ng pagtanggap ng binyag ni Juan na isang binyag ng pagsisisi! Ikalawa, sa pagbibinyag ni Jesus ay sinimulan na Niya ang kanyang misyon na hayagang pangangaral ng paghahari ng Diyos. At ikatlo, ipinahayag nito na Siya nga ang bugtong na Anak na lubos na kinalulugdan ng Diyos. Ano ang itinuturo nito sa atin? Una, sana ay pahalagahan natin ang ating Binyag na kung saan ay nangako tayong tatalikuran ang kasalanan at mamumuhay bilang mga tunay na Anak ng Diyos Ama. Ikalawa, na sana ay “isigaw” din natin na tayo ay mga Kristiyano sa pamamagitan ng isang buhay na marangal at kaaya-aya. Ikatlo, sikapin natin na sa lahat ng sandali ay lagi tayong maging kalugod-lugod sa harapan ng Diyos. Madali ang maging tao pero mahirap ang magpakatao. Puwede rin nating sabihing madaling maging Kristiyano ngunit mahirap ang magpakakristiyano. Madali sapagkat buhos lang ng tubig sa ulo ang kinakailangan. Mahirap sapagkat nangangahulugan ito ng paglimot sa sarili at pamumuhay na katulad ni Jesus na puno ng sakripisyo at paglilingkod sa iba. Sana, hindi lang hanggang “baptismal ceritficate” ang ating pagiging kristiyano. Sana, ngayong Taon ng Pananampalataya ay mas lalo nating maunawaan at maisabuhay ang ibig sabihin ng ating binyag.  Sana, ay maging tunay tayong mga anak ng Diyos at kapatid ni Kristo!

Source: kiliti-ng-diyos

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See Today’s Readings:  Cycle C

Back to: Baptism of the Lord (Year C)

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