The First Luminous Mystery - The Baptism of Jesus
Scripture: After Jesus was baptized, He came up from the water and behold, the Heaven were opened for Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to Him. And a voice came from the Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mt. 3:16-17)
Reflection: We are like raindrops, the ancients believed. We are all made from the same “holy stuff,” the water that is life. In our time, our mothers give birth to us and we “fall” to earth. Each one of us is unique, each one of us possesses our own identity; but we are all part of what has gone before us and what comes after us. And, with other drops of rain, we journey to the same ocean and then back to Father Sky (adapted from Soul Stories by Gary Sukave).
In the waters of baptism, we begin our journey back to God, the Father who gives us this life in the first place. In these waters, we embrace the name of “Christ” and the Spirit of his gospel that unite us to the saints who have come before us and who will come after us. In these waters, we travel through life’s deserts and meadows, in struggling trickles and powerful rivers to the ocean where one day we will “return” to God.
When God pours new life into us at Baptism through the life-giving Spirit, it is a permanent relationship that is given to us. Our Baptism is not a one-time event that happened in the past and has stopped being active--not at all. As is the case of Jesus, the Spirit descends upon us and remains with us. That is why it is so meaningful to dip our fingers into the baptismal or holy water font each time we enter a church. In so doing, we remind ourselves of the permanent baptismal “river of life” that remains and continues to flow within us and is reinforced by the Eucharist and other sacraments.
Meditation: What does Jesus’ Baptism teach us about our own Baptism? How has the recent renewal of your baptismal promise at Easter renewed your understanding of being part of a family, a parish, a community?
Prayer: O God, in the waters of baptism you have raised us up and set us on our life’s journey to your dwelling place. May the spring of your life within us make us currents of your reconciling and healing grace for all we travel with on this path to you.
(From Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas: Waiting in Joyful Hope 2012-13 by Jay Cormier, DMin) and www.americancatholic.org