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Sunday, January 9, 2000

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Baptism of the Lord

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

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baptized into trinitarian freedom

"Then a voice came from the heavens: 'You are My beloved Son. On You My favor rests.' " —Mark 1:11

As we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of Jesus, the end of the Christmas season, and the Great Jubilee of freedom, the Lord calls us to renew our Baptisms. In Baptism, we received a new nature and entered into the ultimate freedom given by Jesus in His death and resurrection. When we renew our Baptisms, the Lord will "bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness" (Is 42:7). He will heal all "in the grip of the devil" (Acts 10:38).

Jesus gives us the grace of freedom through the Holy Spirit rending in two the sky, descending (Mk 1:10), and crying out in our hearts "Abba" ("Father") (Gal 4:6). Then the Spirit deeply assures us that we are the adopted sons and daughters of God the Father, Who loves us perfectly and infinitely and is pleased with us. In this "blessed assurance" of being perfectly loved by Abba, we are free.

So renew your baptismal promises. Reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises. Publicly profess your faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Receive the Holy Spirit. Know your Father's love. Live for Jesus. Be free. Happy Baptism of Jesus!

Prayer:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I live freely in Your love (see Jn 15:9-10). Thank You for the Christmas season. Thank You for the Great Jubilee!

Promise:  "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit." —Mk 1:8

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "beloved Son of God, in Whom He is well pleased!" (Mk 1:11, our transl)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999