May the Peace of Christ Reign in our Hearts
So much has happened in the life of Christ from last week to this week.
The Luke tells us that Jesus was baptized when he was 30 years old
And so we move from the scene of the Magi bringing gifts to the new born king which we commemorate last week.
To the banks of the Jordon River where Jesus steps up to begin his ministry
We know precious little about the 30 years before Christ.
We know as a boy he left his family and wanted to begin preaching to the Priests in the temple
We know that when he was found by his anxious parents that he remained obedient to Mary and Joseph and stayed home with them
We know that Joseph died during those years after having passed on to Jesus his profession as a carpenter
We know that Jesus lived in Nazareth a kind of rough and tumble town and that he worked supporting Mary his mother.
And the scriptures say that during this time he grew in wisdom and knowledge.
And it follows then that during these thirty year Jesus was a man of prayer trying with his whole heart to discern God’s will and live it
When John came
Jesus was moved by his preaching
And through the Ministry of John Jesus understood that it was time
Time to follow God’s will and begin his public ministry
He had probably reflected on this day over and over again
By asking to be baptized
Peter said in the second reading
Jesus received the power and understanding of Holy Spirit.
And his work began
The nature of the mission is clear in the first reading, which is a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah
It would be
The mission of a servant leader
A bruised reed he will not break
A smoldering wick he will not quench
And he will establish justice on the Earth
There are many things for us to ponder on this feast of the Baptism of the Lord
The first is essential for anyone preparing to take their place in the world
Jesus needed an interior life before he began his mission
It was a private life, which lasted thirty years
Depending on which Gospel you read Jesus mission lasted between 1 and 3 years…
Ratio of training to ministry was either 30 – 1 or 30 to 10
Our time in college is a time of preparation it is a time which we dedicate ourselves.….to learning and getting the skills to assume our place in the world
How much time have we dedicated to developing an interior life
Yes we have to learn the skills to be nurses and Architects and businessmen and even politicians
But if we are to follow our destiny we have to learn how to be men and women of God
Open to God’s word
God’s will and
God’s plan for us
What a tragedy to be the world’s best engineer but miss The husband or wife that God had planned for us because we were not in the habit of listening to God’s will
What a tragedy to be to be a great politician and miss the mission or task which God need us to accomplish because we had no interior life.
Jesus understood that whatever he did had to be rooted in God’s will and the power of the Spirit..
Thus he is obedient even when it doesn’t make sense
To the casual observer or even to John himself it made no sense for Jesus to be baptized but he did so because he knew it was God’s will
How often are we obedient to God’s will when it doesn’t make sense to us.
Or How often do we pick and choose how we will follow the will of God
And how often does our obedience depend on
What others say
Or what is comfortable to us.
For Jesus following God’s will involved leaving things and people which gave him comfort.
If we study the scriptures and the lives of the Saints there always seems to be some kind of dying to oneself when we are called to follow God’s will
For all that we know Jesus had a good life in Nazareth.
He had his way of living
The comfort of his mother and friends and relatives
Yet because of God’s call
He Embarks on the life of an itinerate preacher
And leaves all that is familiar to him
How many times… have we said
I’ll follow God’s inspiration as long as it doesn’t cost me too much
As long as I don’t have to leave my comfort zone
It there is one thing that is clear on every page of the scriptures
Love has a great price
Why do we often refuse to pay it
There is one more lesson we should notice
That is the lesson which John the Baptist teaches us..
Somehow some way from all of the thousand who were coming forward to be baptized John recognized Jesus
How did he recognize him ?
Maybe he knew for a while who Jesus was
Maybe the Holy Spirit inspired him at that moment
How often has Christ presented himself to us in the poor
In those in need
In the instruction of our parents or good advice of a friend and
We either missed it or refused to accept his presence
What a profound tragedy to miss or refuse the very presence of God in our lives
And so dear ones
As you prepare to find your place…. To make your contribution
To live the wonderful life that God has gives you…
Let us strive to develop our spiritual lives and live in the presence of God
Let us discern God’s will and obedient to it even if it doesn’t seem to make sense
Let us be willing to make the sacrifices that following God’s plan will necessitate
Let us be very sensitive to the presence of God
These are some to the lessons, which the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordon offers us
Let us be attentive.