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Monday, January 9, 2006

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 55:1-11
1 John 5:1-9
Isaiah 12:2-6
Mark 1:7-11

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happy baptism to you

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

At the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus saved the best till last, and on this last day of Christmas He's doing the same (Jn 2:10). "On the last and greatest day of the festival" (Jn 7:37), we see "the Spirit of God descend like a dove and hover over Him" (Mt 3:16). We hear a voice from the heavens saying, "This is My beloved Son. My favor rests on Him" (Mt 3:17).

The Lord brings these Scriptures to us so we can share in His baptism. He desires for us to receive the recreating power of the Spirit and affirmation from the Father. He wants us to walk with Him — in His death and resurrection, in His miracles and healings, in His sufferings and persecutions, and also in His baptism at the river Jordan. Jesus says, "Father, all those You gave Me I would have in My company where I am" (Jn 17:24). "If anyone would serve Me, let him follow Me; where I am, there will My servant be" (Jn 12:26).

Today your baptism and confirmation will be renewed. You will know in a new way the Father's love and the Spirit's power. With Jesus you will begin a new dimension of ministry, "doing good works and healing all" who are "in the grip of the devil" (Acts 10:38). You are to "open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness" (Is 42:7). Yes, we are talking about you. Believe and receive the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  "Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up Thy rest."

Promise:  "The love of God consists in this: that we keep His commandments — and His commandments are not burdensome." —1 Jn 5:3

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who took on our nature and became one like us in all things but sin.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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