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Vocations Prayer

O God, You have chosen the apostles to make disciples of all nations and by baptism and confirmation have called all of us to build up Your Holy Church.

We earnestly implore You to chose from among us, Your children, many priests, brothers and sisters, who will love You with all their hearts and will gladly spend all their lives to make You known and loved by all. Amen

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St. Luke RC Church

The Baptism of the Lord
Jesus' Baptism is Ours

READINGSLink indicator
First Reading:   Is 42:1-4, 6-7
Responsorial Psalm:   Ps 29:1-4, 9-10
Second Reading:   Acts 10:34-38
Gospel:   Lk 3:15-16, 21-22

oday we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus.

Some of us may wonder whether all these things happened for real at the time of Baptism of Jesus, and what does it mean to us today?

Most of the time what happens is that we do not have time to understand the meaning of the word of God. Or, we just ignore it as a story, and move on. Similarly on this feast of the Baptism of Jesus, we can just treat it as a story. But let us take some time to understand the meanings of all that was happening at the time of Jesusí Baptism.

What is the meaning of the sky opening, the Spirt descending, and voice speaking?

Ancient Jewish people believed God lived somewhere above the sky. But the sky was a kind of barrier, separating heaven and earth. So if God wanted to come down to earth he had to break through that barrier.

This is what we find in the Book of Prophet Isaiah:  Why donít you tear the sky open and come down? Also in the psalms we read:  O Lord, tear the sky open and save me. So opening of the sky refers to the idea that God has heard the prayers of the people, and is coming to rescue them. It also marks the beginning of a new era or a new age on earth.

The Spirit descending upon Jesus

Then we see the image of the Spirit descending on Jesus. It refers to the beginning of creation, and takes us back to the book of Genesis, where we read the Spirit of God hovered over the water. So Jesusí Baptism marks the beginning of a new creation or beginning of a re-creation. We all become new creation. And the voice saying, ... this is my beloved Son refers to Jesus as the Second Adam. The first Adam came from earth and the second Adam came from heaven. Just like we bear the likeness of the first Adam in our birth, we bear the likeness of second Adam in our our second birth, which is our Baptism.

So now we may wonder what is our role in it? Through our Baptism we join Jesus in establishing this new era or new age of creation, that began in Jesus. When we received Baptism, this is what we symbolically proclaimed.

We all know that God created the universe to be a paradise, but our first parents did not use their gift of free will properly, and fell into the slavery to sin. God sent a Saviour in the person of Jesus, the second Adam, but we have the freedom or free will to choose this Saviour. Through our Baptism we are choosing Jesus as our Saviour, and we help the Saviour to establish the new world.

On this Feast of Baptism of Jesus, we need to think and renew our baptismal commitment to re-establish the new era, or our promise to be a new creation. We were spiritually dead at one point, but when we are baptized in Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, we rise to new life. This is why St. Paul said, Christians ought to apply Jesusí Baptism to their lives and live it. So let us see, how we can spread the Good News in the present society through our call.

Friends, we know we exist to love—to love God with our whole mind, heart and soul, and to love others as God loves them. There are people in the world who will meet God by meeting you and me. Also we may find people who are seeking for the meaning in life. They are searching for reasons behind their joy and pain, their sadness and fleeting pleasures. They seek lasting happiness.

They search for answers and they rely on us, you and I, to help them find these answers. They all are waiting for that Good News again. But do we have that Good News to share with them, like Jesus did? This is why we have been baptized by the Holy Spirit; to be the Good News of His loving presence.

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