Sunday, January 13, 2013

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

 Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 
"Jesus comes out of the water, drawing the world with Him and raising it up when it had hitherto been sunk in the abyss... Here all is in perfect harmony, for the testimony comes from heaven, just as He to whom the Spirit bears witness has come down from heaven."~St Gregory Nazianus

‘Looking at the events in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realised what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon His shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan. He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners.’ ~ J Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, Bloomsbury 2007, p18

We celebrate in rather rapid order several feasts of the Lord at the end of the year and the beginning of the next:  Christmas, Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord. Later comes the Transfiguration and the wedding feast of Cana. All these accounts of the events of our Lord’s life are epiphanies for us, times when the mystery becomes seen, when the divine person of Jesus Christ is made evident.

“In fact, he who willed to be born for us, did not want to remain hidden from us, and thus, he manifested himself in this way so that this great mystery of our piety may not be an occasion for error.
Today the Magi… found him who was wailing in the crib. Today the Magi saw clearly, wrapped in clothes, he whom they for so long had to only contemplate in an obscure way in the stars…. he who the world cannot contain within the little body of a baby….
Today Christ is descended in the bed of the Jordan to wash away the sins of the world. The same John that had affirmed that he had come into the world exactly for this: ‘Behold the Lamb of God; behold him that takes away the sin of the world’. Today, the servant has in his hand the Lord; the man, God; John, Christ. He held him to receive forgiveness not give it to him…..
Today Christ begins the heavenly signs, changing water into wine; but the water must then be changed into the sacrament of his blood so that Christ would pour out to he who wished to drink a pure chalice of the fullness of his grace.”
Discourses of St. Peter Chrysologus Disc. 160.
"Many of the incidents which accompanied Christ's baptism are symbolical of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ's baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His baptism Christ was proclaimed the "Beloved Son" of the Father; at our Baptism we become the adopted sons of God. At Christ's baptism the heavens were opened; at our Baptism heaven was opened to us. At His baptism Jesus prayed; after our Baptism we must pray to avoid actual sin." ~ Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas

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