Daily Gospel Reflection for January 3, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: John 1:29-34

Once again, John the Baptist directs us toward Jesus, the Lamb of God. He identifies Him as the one who, filled with the Holy Spirit, will take away the sins of the world.

Jesus didn’t need to be baptized. After all, He is God; but He humbled Himself to be like us so that He could intimately experience our weak humanity in every way except sin.

The baptism in the River Jordan didn’t have the same meaning as our sacramental rite of Baptism. It was a penitential baptism, signifying a new beginning, a gesture of profound humility before God and doing His Will. It marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry of saving sinners to the point of atoning for our sins.

In His human frailty, I wonder if He had any misgivings or anxiety because surely He knew how it would all end. From the Biblical account, it seems that He went willingly to the River Jordan. He humbly submitted Himself to the baptismal ritual and He said yes to the Father’s plan of love and salvation.

How deep is the love for us that He showed that day on the River Jordan! How rich in humility, mercy and compassion is our Lord!

Ponder:

Today, how can you live out your sacramental baptism so that you can continue our Lord’s mission of compassion and salvation?

Pray:

Dear Jesus, thank You for taking on our human weakness in all ways but sin so that, in Your compassion, You fulfilled the divine work of expiation for our sins.

Copyright 2014 Terry McDermott

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