Tag Archives: Baptism

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle A

1st Reading – Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6

This is from Second Isaiah – written during the Babylonian Exile.  This servant was to help free these exiled Jews; it was a most difficult assignment.  But then, God expands the scope even more. This servant and his people were to be a light to the nations. God’s concerns are not limited to any one race, or ethic group. God’s power to save wishes to expand “to the ends of the earth.” Everything and everybody is to be brought to wholeness and freedom (that is what salvation means). Celebration, Jan. 2002

As Jesus was called to be this servant, this light, so are we called by our baptism to bring the light of God’s love and to ‘put on the Lord Jesus.’  How do you respond to this reading?

This may seem like a ‘big’ order when too often we feel more like a morning fog than the light of Christ. Yet, God chooses us. The more we choose God’s way of love over our usual selfishness and preoccupation, the more the radiance of God shines forth. Prayer connects us to this Source.  Exploring the Sunday Readings, Jan 2002

2nd Reading — 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

The next four Sundays we will read from Paul’s letter to the early Christian community in Corinth. This city was a wealthy busy seaport as it had two harbors, one open to Asia and one open to Italy.  It was a veritable melting pot of people, cultures and religions. After it was conquered by Rome in 146 BC, it was re-founded as a Roman colony in 44 BC. It had a large Italian population and a sizable Jewish community. It was a place of many shrines to a variety of gods and goddesses. The Corinthian Christians would have been confronted on a daily basis by all of this variety, vivid images, and temptations. Paul was challenged to help them come to know the one God we find in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Celebration, January, 2002

Notice how many times Jesus’ name is said in this short introduction?  Right at the beginning of this letter, Paul has Jesus at the forefront.  It was a difficult letter dealing with a difficult situation…Paul goes right to the love of Christ to deal with it.  Notice Paul calls it the church of God, not the church of Corinth.  To Paul, wherever an individual congregation might be, it was a part of the one Church of God.  Also notice how he describes a Christian:  one that is sanctified in Christ, called to be holy and who calls upon Jesus nameWm Barclay The Daily Study Bible Series

Who is Sosthenes?  A friend of Paul’s and someone who was known in Corinth.  It was a common name in those times.  Sosthenes is mentioned again in Acts 18:17 but it is unclear if they are the same  (In Acts, he is a leader of the synagogue, where here it is not known if he is Jewish or not.).  The name means “saving strength”.  McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible and  The Jerome Biblical Commentary

The Gospel – John 1: 29-34

John calls Jesus the ‘Lamb of God’ – it is a title with many meanings.

3 meanings in particular are –

Passover Lamb (Exodus 12: 6-13):  The Passover Lamb recalls the time in Exodus when the Israelite slaves were told to sacrifice a lamb and apply its blood to the doorpost and lintels of their homes so that death would not touch them. This Passover led to their freedom.

Suffering Servant Lamb (Isaiah 52: 13 – 53: 12):  The fourth Suffering Servant song in Isaiah describes a servant who goes like an innocent, oppressed, condemned Lamb to the slaughter – yet from this death comes new life and goodness.

Victorious Lamb (Rev. 5:6; 7:17; 22:1):  The glorious Lamb that we find in Revelation is the lamb that has passed through suffering and death and now becomes the source of life-giving water; all humans can be freed by his blood.

We believe that Jesus is this threefold lamb – this lamb who takes away our sin and insecurity giving us new life and peace – alive with God’s grace and set afire with his love for the sake of the world and in service of his word. Celebration, January, 2002

This is a different picture of Jesus’ baptism.  We are hearing it through the eyes of John the Baptist, as he was there and witnessing to this miraculous event.  You know yourself that you give more credibility to stories that are told as seen vs. stories that are hearsay.  He speaks as though he was forewarned of this baptism.  Then John the Baptist calls Jesus the Son of God.  It is very clear Jesus is center stage.  John the Baptist is playing second fiddle.  Is Jesus center stage in your life?

During this time of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday it is good to remember his hope and vision for a universal ‘salvation’ for all people. As he chose to live Jesus’ words in a world of difficulties, he, too, has become an example for all of us. Let us recall his words that were delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Monument, August 28, 1963:

“I have a dream that one day . . . the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood . . . I have a dream that one day . . . little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers . . . I have a dream that one day every hill and mountain will be made low . . . and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope . . . this is our faith . . .With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discord of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to struggle together . . .”

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Baptism of the Lord Mass Readings, cycle C

1st Reading:  Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

This reading from second Isaiah announces the end of the Babylonian exile and the return of the Israelites to their homeland.  Those out in the desert are being called back (Faley, Footprints on the Mountain, p. 21).  God makes it very clear that he wants every obstacle between God and God’s people to be taken away so that nothing keeps us apart.  God wants to be fully in relationship with us.  God wants to be with us in our journey, as hard as it may be.  The path is paved with love.  Richard Rohr says…

Only when we are eager to love can we see love and goodness in the world around us. We must ourselves remain in peace, and then we will find peace over there. Remain in beauty, and we will honor beauty everywhere. This concept of remaining or abiding moves all religion out of any esoteric realms of doctrinal outer space where it has for too long been lost. There is no secret moral command for knowing or pleasing God, or what some call “salvation,” beyond becoming a loving person in mind, heart, body, and soul. Then you will see what you need to see.

2nd Reading:  Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

In Jesus we get to see God’s power and mercy in action in our history at close range.  And we need God close, because salvation that is far away can be hard to believe in.  We suffer the ache of the particular, being born with this nose, these parents, this ethnicity and address, and no other.  We’ve got to make do with certain talents and limitations.  We’re stuck with the present generation, and can never return to the past nor fast-forward to the age to come.  Hunkered down in time and place can be a terrible poverty when it comes to opportunity.  And Jesus reveals to us that God is willing to share our poverty in order to save us from it.   No other proof would do but to be here.  What are some of the particulars of your life that are especially difficult?  How does the revelation of Jesus speak to those?  (Exploring the Sunday Readings, Jan. 2004)

Gospel:  Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

We might wonder why it was necessary for Jesus to receive baptism.  We know that John certainly considered himself unworthy to perform the act, but Jesus insisted that he be baptized along with the rest of the people on the banks of the Jordan River.  Through this baptism Jesus was able to link his ministry with John’s proclamation.  Jesus is no longer just the carpenter’s son in Nazareth  (The Word into Life, cycle C, p.22)

This is a moment of Trinity.  Jesus being baptized with the Holy Spirit descending and the Father speaking His words of love…all come together to transform this moment of baptism as sacred.

What kind of human experience was this in which Jesus hears a voice from heaven speaking to him?  Scholars note that it is an experience in an altered state of consciousness or an experience of alternate reality.  On average, 90% of the world’s cultures regularly have such experiences and find them useful and meaningful in their cultural context  (Pilch, The Cultural World of Jesus, cycle C, p. 20).

It is interesting to note that right after this section of Luke is a genealogy of Jesus.  Right after the Father proclaims that Jesus is His Son, this genealogy cites one “son of” after another until it ends as Jesus being identified as son of Adam, son of God  (Pilch, 20).

But all of this speaks to the heart.  “God looking into the dripping face of Jesus and seeing the whole big picture of creation and life and heavenly hosts and the throne of heaven.  God looking at Jesus and seeing it all – glory and honor and power and might.  God watching as Jesus came up from his knees and seeing justice and kindness and compassion breaking forth like the dawn.  God seeing in Jesus the very plan of salvation radiant in its entire splendor.  God wrapping the soaking wet Jesus in the warmth of the Holy Spirit, knowing that the magnificence of God’s own mercy is shining back at that moment, glistening in the water of baptism,”  (Hungry, and You Fed Me, Rev. Dr. David A. Davis, p. 45).  What speaks to you?

The Baptism of the Lord, cycle B

1st Reading  – Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7

This is the first of four ‘suffering servant’ songs from the second part of the Book of Isaiah.  The prophet wishes us to see that God acts through this chosen servant to nullify the power of evildoers and so to restore the harmony and peace that arises where God’s justice is acknowledged and lived. Jesus must have loved the Book of the Prophet Isaiah for he modeled his life on these words concerning what it is like to be God’s servant.  From his baptism on, Jesus knew that he was called and empowered to be this servant – to bring light, and sight, and freedom to all in bondage. God’s justice was one of compassion for all.  Like Jesus by our baptism we are called to do likewise – to try to reproduce God’s justice in the world: father the fatherless, mother the motherless, welcome the stranger, feed the traveler, be hospitable to the alien. By trying with intelligence and perseverance to love all who touch our lives, we can help to bring God’s steadfast love into the reality of our everyday life. (Celebration, January 2005)

The justice or righteousness used here means living in right relationship with God and with other people. This justice acknowledges the human dignity of all people, especially those who are in need. Love of God is intrinsically tied to love poured out on others. Isaiah tells us of a Suffering Servant whose justice does not proceed with force or cruelty. This servant brings forth justice carefully, caringly, gently, so gently that even bruised reeds will not break, nor will smoldering wicks be quenched. This Servant brings God’s love to the weak and fragile and needy. Jesus is the fulfillment of this idea of servant. As disciples (learners) of Jesus we, too, must become suffering servants; it is our highest dignity. In baptism we become like Jesus – priest, prophet, and king – sent to lead others to this love of Christ, to share the Good News of the love, and to offer our lives in service for others.(Celebration, January 2002, and Mary Birmingham,  Word and Worship Workbook for Year A, 126)

2nd Reading – Acts 10: 34-380

Cornelius was a gentile – a non-Jew – yet Peter, a faithful Jew, became convinced that he too could be baptized and become a follower of Jesus.

This is echoed in a homily given by Pope Francis:  “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class. We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all. And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: We need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: We will meet one another there.”

“For God was with him”  Do we know this?  That God is with us?  That God makes it possible for good to happen in (and through!) our lives if we are open to God’s presence?  Just think what your life would be like if God’s love was able to flow freely in and out of you.  What good would come?

The Gospel — Jesus’ Baptism – Mark 1: 7-11

Why do you think that Jesus was baptized?  **If Jesus shows us what God is like, what do we see in this passage?  There is a special irony in Jesus’ baptism that speaks to the central message of the redemptive mystery. Jesus enters into radical solidarity with all people, taking upon himself even the condition of our sinfulness, himself having not sinned. The “one more powerful” assumes the position of weakness. It is precisely in this that he is beloved, and it is from this that he is sent. But how could he be fully human, like us, if he did not sin? We misunderstand this, because we misunderstand our humanity as well as our sin. Jesus reveals to us not only what God is like; he also reveals to us who we are. Our sin in essence is the rejection of the truth of our humanity. Jesus’ utter acceptance of his humanity reverses our sinful rejection of our ‘creatureliness’. His baptism is at the heart of his mission to heal us. He enters into even the wounds of our self-rejection and insecurity, without making the rejection and insecurity his own. He stands with us even if that means that he is seen as a sinner. Here the Word of God is enfleshed for all to see. The Spirit hovers over him and the Voice declares to him and to all of us who share his flesh: “This is my beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus IS God’s ancient covenant of love. In him, both halves meet: the divine and the human. (J. Kavaanaugh, S.J. “The Word Engaged”; J. Foley, S.J. “Spirituality of the Rding.” http://liturgy.slu.edu )

In first-century Israel there were two seasons: rainy (late September to late April) and dry (early May to early September). Most stayed inside during the wet season, so during the dry season people wanted to be out and about, a very important Mediterranean activity. When John was baptizing, it was probably the beginning of the dry period. The Jordan River would be still filled with water and it would now be warmed by the sun. Jesus’ baptism by John is one of the most certain historical events recorded in the gospels. Its significance caused the early Christians first some embarrassment and gradually great insight. Another point: in Marks’ brief account it is a ‘mouth-full’ to say that Jesus leaves his family and village to come to John for baptism. One’s family was the central social institution of his day; this step away from his family would have been seen by his culture as very risky, even shameful. When the voice from heaven claims him as a beloved son, a whole new type of family is set up. Mark expects us who are hearing this gospel to recognize that the source of Jesus’ honor is God not his family or culture. God personally acknowledges Jesus as a beloved, obedient son and servant.   (John Pilch, “Historical Cultural Context,” http://liturgy.slu.edu )

Jesus’ encounter with his calling and identity at his baptism is the starting point for all that he will undertake. It is because Jesus knows who he is that he does as he does. He trusts the truth that he is God’s beloved; he refuses, even in the face of suffering and death, to believe the lie that God is distant, uncaring, or condemning. At baptism, we are also called sons and daughters of God. In fact, our baptism is our acceptance of that truth. Like Jesus, we need to let that truth fill our lives and overflow into all we do and are.  We are never just consumers or spectators or travelers or workers – all of us are God’s beloved. (“Working with the Word” http://liturgy.slu.edu )

Scripture Commentary for 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle A

partner iwth God

1st Reading – Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6

This is from Second Isaiah – written during the Babylonian Exile.  This servant was to help free these exiled Jews; it was a most difficult assignment.  But then, God expands the scope even more. This servant and his people were to be a light to the nations. God’s concerns are not limited to any one race, or ethic group. God’s power to save wishes to expand “to the ends of the earth.” Everything and everybody is to be brought to wholeness and freedom (that is what salvation means). Celebration, Jan. 2002

As Jesus was called to be this servant, this light, so are we called by our baptism to bring the light of God’s love and to ‘put on the Lord Jesus.’  How do you respond to this reading?

This may seem like a ‘big’ order when too often we can feel more like a morning fog than like the light of Christ. Yet, God chooses us. The more we choose God’s way of love over our usual selfishness and preoccupation, the more the radiance of God shines forth. Prayer connects us to this Source.  Exploring the Sunday Readings, Jan 2002

2nd Reading — 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

The next four Sundays we will read from Paul’s letter to the early Christian community in Corinth. This city was a wealthy busy seaport as it had two harbors, one open to Asia and one open to Italy.  It was a veritable melting pot of people, cultures and religions. After it was conquered by Rome in 146 BC, it was re-founded as a Roman colony in 44 BC. It had a large Italian population and a sizable Jewish community. It was a place of many shrines to a variety of gods and goddesses. The Corinthian Christians would have been confronted on a daily basis by all of this variety, vivid images, and temptations. Paul was challenged to help them come to know the one God we find in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Celebration, January, 2002

Notice how many times Jesus’ name is said in this short introduction?  Right at the beginning of this letter, Paul has Jesus at the forefront.  It was a difficult letter dealing with a difficult situation…Paul goes right to the love of Christ to deal with it.  Notice Paul calls it the church of God, not the church of Corinth.  To Paul, wherever an individual congregation might be, it was a part of the one Church of God.  Also notice how he describes a Christian:  one that is sanctified in Christ, called to be holy and who calls upon Jesus nameWm Barclay The Daily Study Bible Series

Who is Sosthenes?  A friend of Paul’s and someone who was known in Corinth.  It was a common name in those times.  Sosthenes is mentioned again in Acts 18:17 but it is unclear if they are the same  (In Acts, he is a leader of the synagogue, where here it is not known if he is Jewish or not.).  The name means “saving strength”.  McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible and  The Jerome Biblical Commentary

The Gospel – John 1: 29-34

John calls Jesus the ‘Lamb of God’ – it is a title with many meanings.

3 meanings in particular are –

Passover Lamb (Exodus 12: 6-13):  The Passover Lamb recalls the time in Exodus when the Israelite slaves were told to sacrifice a lamb and apply its blood to the doorpost and lintels of their homes so that death would not touch them. This Passover led to their freedom.

Suffering Servant Lamb (Isaiah 52: 13 – 53: 12):  The fourth Suffering Servant song in Isaiah describes a servant who goes like an innocent, oppressed, condemned Lamb to the slaughter – yet from this death comes new life and goodness.

Victorious Lamb (Rev. 5:6; 7:17; 22:1):  The glorious Lamb that we find in Revelation is the lamb that has passed through suffering and death and now becomes the source of life-giving water; all humans can be freed by his blood.

We believe that Jesus is this threefold lamb – this lamb who takes away our sin and insecurity giving us new life and peace – alive with God’s grace and set afire with his love for the sake of the world and in service of his word. Celebration, January, 2002

This is a different picture of Jesus’ baptism.  We are hearing it through the eyes of John the Baptist, as he was there and witnessing to this miraculous event.  You know yourself that you give more credibility to stories that are told as seen vs. stories that are hearsay.  He speaks as though he was forewarned of this baptism.  Then John the Baptist calls Jesus the Son of God.  It is very clear Jesus is center stage.  John the Baptist is playing second fiddle.  Is Jesus center stage in your life?

During this time of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday it is good to remember his hope and vision for a universal ‘salvation’ for all people. As he chose to live Jesus’ words in a world of difficulties, he, too, has become an example for all of us. Let us recall his words that were delivered on the steps of the LincolnMonument, August 28, 1963:

“I have a dream that one day . . . the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood . . . I have a dream that one day . . . little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers . . . I have a dream that one day every hill and mountain will be made low . . . and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope . . . this is our faith . . .With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discord of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to struggle together . . .”

Scripture Commentary for the Baptism of the Lord, cycle A

bruised reed

1st Reading -Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7

What does this tell us about God’s chosen one?  “God’s Servant brings forth justice carefully, caringly and gently, so gently as to refrain from breaking bruised reeds and from quenching smoldering wicks.  In other words, the Servant has respect for persons who are weak, fragile and in jeopardy.  His manner of bringing justice matches the goal of justice which he enacts.  As a result of his efforts in the cause of justice, healing, freedom and reconciliation are to be experienced by ALL,” (Brueggerman, W.  Texts for Preaching).  Think about how people who may feel forgotten by God – like at the time of this writing (Babylonian Exile) – hear this reading.

This is the first of four ‘suffering servant’ songs from the second part of the Book of Isaiah. The prophet wishes us to see that God acts through this chosen servant to nullify the power of evildoers and so to restore the harmony and peace that arises where God’s justice is acknowledged and lived. Jesus must have loved the Book of the Prophet Isaiah for he modeled his life on these words concerning what it is like to be God’s servant. From his baptism on, Jesus knew that he was called and empowered to be this servant – to bring light, and sight, and freedom to all in bondage. God’s justice was one of compassion for all. Like Jesus by our baptism we are called to do likewise – to try to reproduce God’s justice in the world: father the fatherless, mother the motherless, welcome the stranger, feed the traveler, be hospitable to the alien. By trying with intelligence and perseverance to love all who touch our lives, we can help to bring God’s steadfast love into the reality of our everyday life. (Celebration, January 2005)

2nd Reading – Acts 10: 34-38

Cornelius was gentile – a non Jew – yet Peter, a faithful Jew, became convinced that he too could be baptized and become a follower of Jesus. What line speaks to you the most here?

The pattern of Jesus’ life is the pattern for our lives. We are to ‘put on the Lord Jesus’ as Paul would say. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection must be a part of how we live our baptism: we are to die to selfishness and rise to the needs of others. We are to show no partiality by dying to harsh judgments and blind prejudice as we rise to seeing all people as loved by God. We are to die to grudges and revenge as we rise to forgiveness and reconciliation. We as the Body of Christ must live as Christ would in the concrete situations of our day. (Living Liturgy, Year A, 2002)

The Gospel– Jesus’ Baptism – Matthew 3: 13-17

In first-century Israel there were two seasons: rainy (late September to late April) and dry (early May to early September). Most stayed inside during the wet season, so during the dry season people wanted to be out and about, a very important Mediterranean activity. When John was baptizing, it was probably the beginning of the dry period, The Jordan River would still be filled with water and warmed by the sun. Jesus’ baptism by John is one of the most certain historical events recorded in the gospels. Its significance caused the early Christians first some embarrassment and gradually great insight. (John Pilch, “Historical Cultural Context,” http:/liturgy.slu.edu)

There is a special irony in Jesus’ baptism that speaks to the central message of the redemptive mystery. Jesus enters into radical solidarity with all people, taking upon himself even the condition of our sinfulness, himself having not sinned. The “one more powerful” assumes the position of weakness. It is precisely in this that he is beloved, and it is from this that he is sent. But how could he be fully human, like us, if he did not sin? We misunderstand this, because we misunderstand our humanity as well as our sin. Jesus reveals to us not only what God is like; he also reveals to us who we are. (John Kavanaugh, S.J. “The Word Engaged” http://liturgy.slu.edu)

Jesus’ encounter with his calling and identity at his baptism is the starting point for all that he will undertake. It is because Jesus knows who he is that he does as he does. He trusts the truth that he is God’s beloved; he refuses, even in the face of suffering and death, to believe the lie that God is distant, uncaring, or condemning. At baptism, we are also called sons and daughters of God. In fact, our baptism is our acceptance of that truth. Like Jesus, we need to let that truth fill our lives and overflow into all we do and are. We are never just consumers or spectators or travelers or workers – all of us are God’s beloved. (“Working with the Word” http://Iiturgv.slu.edu)

How do we live as The Beloved, especially in a world that is constantly trying to convince us that the burden is on us to prove that we are worthy of being loved?  The world is evil only when we become its slave.  We must see it through the eyes of faith.  Knowing we are the Beloved will set us free and help us let go of what distracts us, confuses us, and puts us in jeopardy of the life of the Spirit within us.  Put simply, life is a God-given opportunity to become who we are, to affirm our own true spiritual nature, claim our truth, appropriate and integrate the reality of our being, but, most of all, to say “Yes” to the One who calls us the Beloved, (Nouwen, N., Life of the Beloved, p. 130-131).

Deacon Tom’s Homily on the Baptism of the Lord

My friends, we tend to think of Baptism as a nice little celebration with babies, (like we have today) right?  Well, it’s more than that.  Baptism is a time to celebrate new life in our family, in our parish, and in our church.  Baptism can free us from hopelessness and give us the power to change the world.  What we hear of in the Baptism of Jesus today and when we reflect on our own Baptism, we see that Baptism really is much more.
Something very powerful happened on the day Jesus lined up with the rest of the people to be baptized by John the Baptist.  John baptized people as a sign of their repentance, their desire to change their lives in order to be ready for the coming of the Messiah.  Jesus, personally, had no need to repent; had had no sin.  Still, he joined with the people to be baptized.
As Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, he heard a voice say, “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests.”  With that my friends, Jesus’ preaching began.  Jesus set out to teach the world about his Father.  He did not go out with a message that God was just his Father.  Rather, he taught us all to call on God as “Our Father.”  Today’s second reading tells us that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power.  The power he received made him able to heal the sick and free the captives.  The power of Jesus would change the world.
In our own baptism, God says to each of us, You are my beloved son or daughter; on you my favor rests.  When we think of people who have been chosen by God to do great things, we seem to always think of other people.  We think of people like St. Kateri Tekakwitha, or Mother Teresa, or Pope John XXIII, or our own mother or another powerful person in our life.  However, none of these great people had anything that you and I do not have.  We have been given the greatest possible honor, we have been chosen by God to be God’s children, and we have been filled with the greatest of all powers: the power of the Holy Spirit.  We have been anointed with the same Spirit as Jesus and have the same power.  We, too, have been called to bring justice to our world of injustice, compassion to our harsh world, and peace to our world of violence.
In our baptism, we joined with Jesus Christ, who was anointed priest, prophet, and king.
Friends, Jesus joined with a sinful people to be baptized by John.  Now, Jesus offers us, a sinful people, the chance to join him in Baptism.  Jesus shares with us the glory of being a child of God, and his spirit, the same spirit who appeared as a dove and endorses Jesus’ mission, fills us with the power to bring justice, love and peace to our world.  So as we close the Christmas Season today let there be no doubt that Jesus has invited us to know that what is asked of each of us is that we live and share the promises made at our own baptism today and every day.