Sunday, January 11, 2015

You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen---Gospel commented (Mark 1:7)

Gospel text (Mc 1,7-11): In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said: «After me comes one who is more powerful than I am; I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. As for me, I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandals. At that time Jesus came from Nazareth, a town of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And the moment he came up out of the water, heaven opened before him and He saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And these words were heard from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen’».
Comment: Mons. Salvador CRISTAU i Coll Auxiliar Bishop of Terrassa (Barcelona) (Barcelona, Spain)
«You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen»
Today, with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Christmas cycle is over. The Gospel says that John had «appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of the sins» (Mk 1:4). People went out to see and hear him, to confess their sins and to be baptized by him in the Jordan River. And among those people Jesus also appeared to be baptized.

At Christmas we have seen how Jesus appeared to the shepherds and the magi who, coming from the East, worshiped Him and offered Him their gifts. In fact, the coming of Jesus to the world is to manifest God’s love that saves us.

And there, in the river Jordan, a new manifestation of Jesus’ divinity was made: heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended towards Him as a dove and the voice of the Father was heard: «You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased» (Mk 1:11). In this case, it is the Father of Heaven and the Holy Spirit who made it manifest. It is God himself who reveals who is Jesus, His beloved son.

But it was not a revelation only for John and the Jews. It was for us too. Jesus himself, the beloved Son of the Father, who manifested to the Jews in the river Jordan, continually manifests to us every day. In the Church, in prayers, in our brothers, at the Baptism we have received that has made us children of the same Father.

Let us ask, therefore: - Do I recognize his presence, his love in my life? – Do I live a true relationship of filial love with God? Pope Francis says: «What God seeks from us is a relationship like that between a father and child. God give us a caress and tells us: I am by your side».

In the midst of our struggles and difficulties, the Heavenly Father also tells us: "you are my son whom I love; with you I am well pleased".

Comment: + Fr. Josep VALL i Mundó (Barcelona, Spain)
You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen
Today, the Church celebrates the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. That day, the world's waters were purified and were given the power to clean away sin. Although the Baptism administered by John had only the implication of our conversion and acceptance of our sinfulness, Jesus, solidary with all men, decided to go through it too, as the Leader of a renewed Manhood. He «made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him» (2Cor 5:21). Jesus will establish the new Baptism that will make us to become children of God in Him and will reconcile us unto the Father: He will be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

«Today —writes St. Gregory of Nazianzus— Christ is illuminated; let this divine light penetrate inward. Christ is baptized, let us follow him to the water, to be able, later, to ascend with Him». That day, at the river Jordan, the Holy Spirit was seen to come down on the Lord and the Father's voice was heard saying: «You are my Son, the Beloved, the One I have chosen» (Mk 1:11). John Paul II comments that «Rising from the waters of the baptismal font, every Christian hears again the voice that was once heard on the banks of the Jordan River: ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’ (Lk 3:22). From this comes the understanding that one has been brought into association with the beloved Son, becoming a child of adoption (cf. Gal 4:4-7) and a brother or sister of Christ» 

St. Cyril of Jerusalem asks us to mull over this supernatural feat, when saying: «If you have sincere piety, the Holy Spirit will descend on you also and you will hear the voice of the Father saying to you from above: ‘This was not my son, but now, after Baptism he has been made my son’». As of now, we are all invited to follow the Path of Christ to know his Truth and to live his very Life. We have been chosen, consecrated and sent out to collaborate in the apostolic mission. We are also beloved and favorite sons, and the Father will be well pleased with each one of us.