Well, Jesus is now all grown up and will soon begin his public ministry. Baptism and water is a big theme this week. We begin the readings this week with the prophet Isaiah, telling us that The Lord says “All you who are thirsty come to the water” if you have no money come eat and drink. This is a popular place to find lyrics for many contemporary church songs from the likes of Hass, Hagen, and the St. Louis Jesuits. In the reading we hear once of the over arching themes in the faith all are welcome. It doesn’t say you subset of people can come but others cannot be a part of it but it say All who are thirsty should come to the water and drink from it. Then the reading turns and we hear “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near.” The Lord and the water are one and the same. All people are called to seek the Lord and pray.
As we reach the second reading we hear from the first letter of Saint John, This is a letter written by John, likely someone who was a disciple of John the evangelist. It is the first of three letters by “John” to a community that John preached to and works to repair a rift in the community. The author talks at length how everyone who comes from the Lord and we are children of the father and filled with love. He goes on in circles like this. The main point here is that Love is for all and by keeping the commandment we show how much we love the Lord and if we keep the commandments we will conquer the world.
Turning finally to the Gospel of Matthew we hear about the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. John the Baptist preached that one mightier than I will come and I am not worthy to unfasten his sandals, I baptize with water but he will baptize with the Holy Spirit. So Jesus goes to the Jordan to be baptized and he is dipped/dunked into the water and when Jesus come out a voice come from the heavens “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” That’s how it ends. For some of us baptism took place many years ago, and we might chance upon one while we are at church one weekend or at least at the Easter Vigil. I like the phrase from the heavens “You are my beloved, with whom I am well pleased” as a reminder to all of us of baptism for these words are sent from the heavens to all of us who are baptized. The second part of John the Baptist phrase is about Confirmation, although the Holy Spirit does come upon us at baptism, but through Jesus many of us have confirmed ourselves in the faith as adults. Let us take this week to reflect upon the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, I will have some more about the Baptism on Tuesday, as it is the first Luminious mystery.