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Sunday, January 12, 2014

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10
Matthew 3:13-17

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give in

"Give in for now. We must do this if we would fulfill all of God's demands." —Matthew 3:15

The first words of Jesus in the New Testament are: "Give in" (Mt 3:15). Usually, when we hear this command, we are being stubborn, selfish, and rebellious. However, when Jesus told John the Baptizer to give in, it was in a different context. Jesus told John to give in and baptize Him, that is, to do something John was not worthy of doing. In a similar context, Jesus commands us to give in. For example, before we receive Holy Communion, we say: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive You" (see Mt 8:8). Then we give in and receive Communion despite our unworthiness.

Jesus calls us to follow Him in bringing justice to the nations (Is 42:1), opening the eyes of the blind, bringing out prisoners from confinement (Is 42:7), and healing all who are in the grip of the devil (Acts 10:38). We feel inadequate and unworthy to accomplish these great plans the Lord has for us, but the Lord tells us to "give in." We may not feel like much, but the Lord commands us to give in and believe we are children of God, loved and favored by Him, and empowered by the Holy Spirit (see Mt 3:16-17). On this last day of the Christmas season, give in and renew the face of the earth (Ps 104:30).

Prayer:  Father, I believe deeply that You are my Father and that You love me. May this faith change every detail of my life.

Promise:  "Here is My Servant Whom I uphold, My chosen One with Whom I am pleased, upon Whom I have put My Spirit." —Is 42:1

Praise:  Alleluia! Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Christmas! Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013

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