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Sunday, January 12, 1997

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Psalm 29
Acts 10:34-38
Mark 1:7-11

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"I begin to see." —Acts 10:34<br> "He saw." —Mark 1:10

The first action of Jesus after His baptism was: "He saw." When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John, "immediately on coming up out of the water He saw" the sky split and the Spirit descend on Him (Mk 1:10). In today's second reading, before Cornelius and his household received the Holy Spirit, Peter began preaching to them in "these words; 'I begin to see' " (Acts 10:34). In today's first reading, it is prophesied that the Messiah upon Whom God's Spirit rests will "open the eyes of the blind" (Is 42:7).

Today's celebration of the baptism of Jesus is associated with seeing God, others, and ourselves in a new way. After receiving the graces of this last day in the Christmas season, we will "no longer know Him by" our old standards (2 Cor 5:16). We will see God not as a force or a thing or even as only a person; we will see Him as our own Father Who loves us (and even likes us) (Mk 1:11). This will transform the way we see ourselves. We will truly believe we are chosen, beloved, royal, priestly, and holy (see 1 Pt 2:9). Then we will see other people as God sees them. We will love our neighbors as ourselves (Mt 22:39). We will "esteem the person of every" human being (1 Pt 2:17).

On this last day of the Christmas season, renew your baptismal promises, open your eyes, and receive the Spirit.

Prayer:  Father and Son, today send the Holy Spirit, the true Christmas Spirit.

Promise:  "I formed You, and set You as a Covenant of the people, a Light for the nations." —Is 42:6

Praise:  Praise God the Father! Praise Jesus, His beloved Son! Praise the Holy Spirit, Who renews "the face of the earth!" (Ps 104:30)

Reference:  (To help live out your baptism, order our leaflet, Lent and the Renewal of Your Baptismal Promises.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996