The Baptism of the Lord-Year B

Posté par diaconos le 10 janvier 2021

 You are my beloved Son ; in you I find my joy

Le Baptême du Seigneur-Année B dans fêtes religieuses P1050553-1024x683

# The place of the Jordan River has a special significance in the Bible : in the Old Testament, it is one of the boundaries of the Promised Land to the Hebrews led by Moses. As Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, he could not cross the Jordan River. Moreover, John the Baptist baptised a baptism of conversion in the Jordan River : the Jews crossed the Jordan to be baptised by John the Baptist, through this baptism they recognised themselves as sinners, and could enter the Promised Land again after their baptism. It was in this context that the baptism of Jesus Christ took place.

The theology that developed within Christianity saw in the baptism of Jesus a willingness to take on the sin of the world. The account of this baptism describes a theophany, a manifestation of the God of the Trinity : Jesus Christ, the Son, being baptised, a dove symbolising the Holy Spirit and the voice of God the Father. The Orthodox Church celebrates this event on 19 January (Gregorian calendar), notably the Ethiopian Orthodox Church through Timqet or Macedonia through Vodici.


From the Gospel according to Saint Mark

John the Baptist proclaimed in the wilderness, « Behold, he who is mightier than I come after me. I am not worthy to bend at his feet to undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptized you with water ; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. At that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. As he came out of the water, Jesus saw heaven being torn apart and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. A voice came from heaven : « You are my beloved Son, in you I have put all my love. (Mk 1, 7-11)


Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life. Thank you for the gift of this new day. Thank you especially for the gift of your friendship. Thank you for the gift of your grace, of your Spirit in me who clothes me with your dignity, your light, your goodness. Lord Jesus, I come to you thirsty for your living water. Lord Jesus, I come to you thirsting for your living water. I bend over your Heart to drink of true life. I am but a vase waiting to be filled with your goodness, your light, your thoughts, your desires.

Today, Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, the Christmas cycle comes to an end. The Gospel says that John had gone into the desert and « preached a baptism of conversion for the forgiveness of sins (Mk 1:4). People went to listen to him, confessed their sins and were baptized by him in the Jordan River. Jesus also went among these people to be baptized.

During the Christmas holidays, we saw that Jesus made himself known to the shepherds and the Magi who, coming from the East, worshipped him and made offerings to him. In fact, the coming of Jesus into the world is meant to show the love of God who saves us.

And there, in the Jordan River, a new manifestation of Jesus’ divinity took place: the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard: « You are my beloved son, in you I have put all my love » (Mk 1:11). Here it is the heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit who manifest themselves. It is God Himself who reveals to us who Jesus is, his beloved Son.

But it was not a revelation only for John and the Jews. It was also a revelation for us. Jesus Himself, the Father’s beloved Son, who manifested Himself to the Jews in the Jordan River, is continually manifesting Himself to us every day. In the Church, in prayer, in our brethren, in the Baptism that we have received and which has transformed us into children of the same Father.

So, let’s ask ourselves: Do I recognize his presence, his love in my life? Do I really live a filial love relationship with God? Pope Francis says: « What God wants from man is a ‘father-child’ relationship, to cuddle him and tell him ‘I am with you’. In the midst of our struggles and difficulties, the Heavenly Father says to us too, « You are my beloved Son, in you I have put all my love.

Lord Jesus, I open my heart to you and give you all my weaknesses. I want to renounce the works of sin and welcome your Spirit into my life. For I want to live your life.  Lord Jesus. I offer you my hands to do your work. I offer you my feet to follow your path. I offer you my eyes to see as you do. I offer you my tongue to speak your words. I offer you my intelligence to think within me. I offer you my spirit to pray in me.

Above all, I offer you my heart so that in me you may love the Father and all men. I offer you all that I am so that you may grow in me. May you be Christ, who lives, works and prays in me. To repent of a defect and ask God and someone close to you for forgiveness if it is appropriate. Or to open ourselves to an inspiration of the Holy Spirit that asks for an act of charity or a very concrete action to model our heart on that of Christ.
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◊ Deacon Michel Houyoux: click here to read the article → The Lord’s Baptism – Year B

Homily for Baptism of the Lord B

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