January 9, 2022 STM Toronto
In this season of the Epiphany of Christ we glimpse with the Magi or Wise Men the mystery of God’s plan. In Jesus all peoples have been made “co-heirs” to the blessings promised to Israel by virtue of Baptism into the life of Christ.
Jesus humbles Himself to pass through the waters of the River Jordan leading a new “exodus”— opening up the promised land of God’s Kingdom so that all peoples can hear the words pronounced over Jesus, words once reserved only for Israel and its king.
Through Baptism each of us becomes a beloved son or daughter of God (Gen. 22:2; Ex. 4:22). But our adoption as co-heirs with Jesus has implications for our actions and our behaviour. We are called to and we must use our gifts and talents for the sake of the Kingdom of Christ . . . serving our community of faith – our parish – at the altar, at the door greeting people, as an altar server and on the street using our time and our tithes. Today, Joseph DeCaria our administrator will outline some of the areas of need that we have here at STM.
Jesus is the chosen servant that Isaiah prophesies in today’s 1st Reading. He is anointed with the Holy Spirit to make things right and just. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as “a covenant of the people,” the liberator of captives, the light to the nations. The 2nd Reading today tells us that Jesus is the One long expected in Israel, “anointed . . . with the Holy Spirit and with power.”
We are each and all called to share in this anointed mission by serving all those whom God calls into the Kingdom. We do so by offering our gifts at the foot of the Christ Child as the Magi did.
The word messiah means the one anointed with God’s Spirit. King David was “the anointed of the God of Jacob” (2 Sam. 23:1–17; Ps 18:51; 132:10, 17). The prophets taught Israel to await a royal offshoot of David, upon whom the Spirit would rest (Isaiah 11:1–2; Daniel 9:25).
The crowds are anxious at the start of today’s Gospel. But it isn’t John they’re looking for. God’ voice confirms what the angel earlier told Blessed Mary: Jesus is the Son of the Most High, come to claim the throne of David forever (Luke 1:32–33).
In the Baptism of Christ the voice of God hovers over the waters like a fiery flame. He has sanctified the waters, made them a passageway to healing —a fountain of new birth and everlasting life for us and for all those we serve.
Readings for Baptism of the Lord:
Isaiah 42:1–4, 6–7
Psalm 29:1–4, 9–10
Luke 3:15–16, 21–22