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Sunday, January 13, 2008

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Psalm 29
Matthew 3:13-17

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it is better to give in

"Give in for now." —Matthew 3:15

The first words spoken by Jesus in Matthew's Gospel are: "Give in for now" (Mt 3:15). On this last day of Christmas, the word is: "Give in." Giving in is a Christmas hallmark. Mary yielded when Gabriel announced that she would be the mother of Jesus, saying: "I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me" (Lk 1:38). Joseph "decided to divorce [Mary] quietly" when he realized she was pregnant with a child that he had not fathered (Mt 1:19), yet he gave in to God's will and "received her into his home as his wife" (Mt 1:24).

Today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. Both Jesus and John gave in to God's will. John rightly realized that Jesus should not be baptized by him. Yet Jesus told John to "give in for now" and John obeyed (Mt 3:15). Jesus also embraced His Father's will as He "voluntarily submitted Himself to the baptism of St. John, intended for sinners." His "gesture is a manifestation of His self-emptying" (Catechism, 1224). "He is submitting Himself entirely to His Father's will: out of love He consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins" (Catechism, 536).

God's thoughts are high above ours (Is 55:8-9). There are times when His requirements don't make sense to us. Therefore, He simply asks us to give in. In what areas of your life is God calling you to give in to His will? Live your Baptism and die to yourself. Give Jesus the Christmas present He wants: "Give in."

Prayer:  Jesus, I've been baptized into Your death and buried with You in Baptism (Rm 6:4). I choose to renew my Baptism, give in to Your will, and immerse myself in Your loving plan.

Promise:  "The man of any nation who fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him." —Acts 10:35

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who "gave in" to the will of the Father and gained us all eternal life. Alleluia!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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