Readings 20140111

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at

Why did Jesus, the Sinless One, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3) – of which Jesus had no need. However, in this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of his bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 53). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?
The Father proclaimed his entire delight in his Son and spoke audibly for all to hear. The Holy Spirit, too, was present as he anointed Jesus for his ministry which began that day as he rose from the waters of the Jordan River. Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all who come to believe in him. At his baptism the heavens were opened and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, signifying the beginning of a new creation.

How can we enter into the mystery of Jesus’ humble self-abasement and baptism? Gregory of Nazianzus, a seventh century Church father tells us:
“Let us be buried with Christ by Baptism to rise with him; let us go down with him to be raised with him; and let us rise with him to be glorified with him.”
Do you want to see your life transformed by the love and power of Jesus Christ? And do you want to become a more effective instrument of the Gospel of peace, mercy, and righteousness? Examine Jesus’ humility and ask the Holy Spirit to forge this same attitude in your heart. As you do, heaven will open for you as well. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to renew us in his Holy Spirit and to anoint us for mission. We are called to be “light” and “salt” to those around us. The Lord wants his love and truth to shine through us that others may see the goodness and truth of God’s message of salvation. Ask the Lord Jesus to fill you with his Holy Spirit that you may radiate the joy of the Gospel to those around you.

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and inflame my heart with the joy of the Gospel. May I find joy in seeking to please you just as you found joy in seeking to please your Father.”

The following reflection is courtesy of (c) 2015. Their website is located at

“Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan.” —Mark 1:9
At the Jordan river, God told Joshua: “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know I am with you” (Jos 3:7). Then Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan river into the land of promise (Jos 3:14ff). Once in the promised land, the Israelites “ate their fill; when filled, they became proud of heart and forgot” God (Hos 13:6).

In the same Jordan river, Jesus, the new Joshua, was baptized. When Jesus rose out of the waters of the Jordan, God exalted Him in the sight of all by testifying that Jesus is His beloved Son (Lk 3:21-22; 1 Jn 5:9). Jesus left the Jordan and walked into the same promised land as Joshua had earlier, inviting us all to a fresh start and a new baptismal fullness.

In this land of promise, Jesus tells us: “I send down upon you the promise of My Father” (Lk 24:49), life in the Holy Spirit. Jesus baptizes us into God’s family that we “might become sharers of the divine nature” (2 Pt 1:4). He lavishes the Spirit on us (Ti 3:6; Jn 3:34) to give us abundant life (Jn 10:10; Is 55:2-3).

On this last day of the Christmas season, promise the Lord that you won’t become proud and forget Him as did the Israelites. Keep your promise by letting Jesus “baptize you in the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1:8). Each day, “seek the Lord” and “listen to” Jesus (Is 55:6; Lk 9:35). Live the “radical newness” of your Baptismal life (Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10).

Prayer: “God indeed is my Savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord” (Is 12:2). Promise: “All you who are thirsty, come to the water!” —Is 55:1 Praise: Praise Jesus, the Father’s beloved Son in Whom He is well pleased! (Mt 3:17) (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements