This is my son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him. Gospel Acclamation
12 January 2020, The Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42:1–4, 6–7, Psalm 28(29):1–4, 9–10, Acts 10:34–38, Matthew 3:13–17
So, do we have to be baptised to be beloved children of God? No, but something changes in us at that moment, something radical.
Jesus, of course, did not need Baptism in the way we do. He did it, as he says, to “do all that righteousness demands”. His Baptism is the moment when his mission formally begins. And so, in addition to the forgiveness of sins, he adds to Baptism the grace and power for mission. In Baptism, we are redeemed (forgiven) and equipped (mission).
God has chosen you. You are called, and in Baptism, you become his beloved son/daughter. The more we come to appreciate his saving love in our lives, the more the family likeness grows. All Jesus could do on his missionary journey was talk about his Father. He never stopped communing with him in prayer, he never stopped working. He is completely “one” with the Father. Jesus says, “To have seen me is to have seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).
To quote Spiderman’s uncle (!), “With great power comes great responsibility.” Our Baptism wins for us the redemption of Christ crucified and risen, but that free gift comes hand-in-hand with the responsibility of passing it on. This is how we grow in our family resemblance to God. This is our salvation.
As sons and daughters of God, may we show our gratitude for the cross of Jesus Christ by bearing and sharing that cross with others.
Heavenly Father, in Baptism you have equipped us for mission. Deepen our intimacy with you, and by the grace of your Holy Spirit, embolden us to preach your Son, Jesus, by word and example. Amen.
Fr James Mackay
Fr James Mackay is the parish priest of Our Lady of Walsingham Parish, located in the Royal Docks of London, UK (since 2014). He trained in Rome (2002–2010) and was ordained to the priesthood in 2009. He has been a member of the Divine Renovation Network for the past three years. He is absolutely committed to parish ministry, loves it, and can’t imagine a better place from which to grow God’s kingdom for the people, with the people—transforming the world. He was a speaker at the recent Alpha Leadership Conference 2019 in the UK.
With thanks to the Diocese of Wollongong who have supplied the weekly Advent and Christmas 2019 reflections from their publication, The Way – Advent & Christmas Daily Reflections 2019. You can read the reflections as they are published here.