Reflection for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Cycle B)
In serving the kingdom of God, the favor of the divine Spirit will envelop our human spirits, prompting our faithful becoming. He will work completely with our hearts and minds, with our bodies and souls to bring authentic justice over all the nations.
As servants, we shall live totally in the Spirit.
The Spirit will prevail over all our weaknesses. With his guidance and support, we will learn to be quiet and humble, neither shouting nor crying in pride or in vengeance, only praising with our silent service, the greatness of our Lord and Liberator.
True humility is important to our mission, for only when we can be taught to empty ourselves, can we see and understand the unjust emptiness of others; true humility is the key to the realization of the need for mutual responsibility.
With his guidance and support, we will also learn to be courageous in bringing light to those in darkness, in freeing those who are oppressed and in redeeming those who oppress. Fearlessness can only be mastered from him who faced fear itself.
Our mission indeed cannot be done alone; it can only be accomplished with the full power of heaven. But as cooperators with the Spirit, it must be remembered that God makes puzzling choices; he always chooses the unprepared or the seemingly “unqualified.”
From this strange exercise of random selection, God is teaching us that servants of the kingdom will never be given the luxury to choose the kind of service they want to do for him. He selects simply on the basis of innate holy obedience and holy actions, and for as long as these “uninitiated” persevere in the natural goodness of their humanity, they will remain called to the lifelong mission of social healing and restoration.
Our service therefore, begins not with our efforts nor with our qualifications, but only with one momentous decision – whether or not we will heed the call of God. Will we submit to the call to change ourselves, in preparation for calling and helping others to change as well? Will we submit to the call to love and serve unconditionally? Will we submit to the call to give our lives for our Lord, if and when necessary?
Choosing to do so, marks our true baptism. A meaningful christening is firstly, an honest reckoning of where we stand in relation to the service of the kingdom; secondly, a firm decision to undertake this service from which there is no turning back; and thirdly, the celebration of an initiation filled with the reassurance that an earthly life of inevitable sacrifice at the hands of sin, will be gloriously rewarded with the heavenly vision that transcends the darkness of death and evil.
May you be touched once more with the promises of your baptism, and may your actions be strengthened as well as rendered more effective for achieving the kingdom of God!
Brother Jess Matias is a professed brother of the Secular Franciscan Order. He serves as minister of the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Fraternity at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mandaluyong City, coordinator of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups of the Capuchins in the Philippines and prison counselor and catechist for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.
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