Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011 - The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

(Joachim Patenier, The Baptism of Christ [1515; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna])
The Readings
Reading I: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Responsorial Psalm: 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
Reading II: Acts 10:34-38
Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17

One of the most certain historical facts recorded in the gospels is that John baptized Jesus. The voice from heaven in Matthew says that Jesus is baptized because God wills it. God is pleased by Jesus’ obedience, which in turn suggests that Jesus deserves obedience from his followers.

*1 Jesus' baptism is at the heart of his mission to heal us. 
  • He enters even the wounds of our self-rejection, without having made the rejection himself. 
  • He accepts full solidarity with us even if it means being seen as sinner. 
Jesus’ baptism is one of his earliest great transformations of our human condition. 
  1. The first was that the Word itself could take human flesh. All the further implications would follow: 
  2. that he would be tempted to reject this mission of transformation
  3. that he would undertake all manner of healing and disarming of devils
  4. that he would announce a kingdom to transmute all blindness, poverty, imprisonment, and darkness
  5. that he would, at last, suffer the very fate of sin in death
Just as we now baptize our children to announce a new fate for the human body, the baptism of Jesus is the inauguration of that fate. Announced as sinner, wholly one with our condition, Jesus, hovered over by the very spirit of God, is gazed upon by the Father who sent him and who now says to him and all of us who share his flesh—“This is my beloved, in whom I am well pleased.”

LAGNIAPPE: Apologetics - All about Baptism @

For the kiddos ---
This a great time to talk about the Holy Trinity.
At Jesus' Baptism, all three Persons of the Blessed Trinity are present. Here are some questions you might want to ask after reading the Gospel together:
  1. Can you name the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity? (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)
  2. How do we know God, the Father was present? (through his voice from the heavens)Matthew 3:16
  3. How do we know the Son was present? (It was Jesus, who was baptized)
  4. How do we know the Holy Spirit was present (seen as descending like a dove). Matthew 3:16
Remind them that we honor the Trinity whenever we make the sign of the cross.


*1 John Kavanaugh, S. J. of Saint Louis University
John J. Pilch of Georgetown University

my personal copy with notes here: 

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