“Constantly living in hope and joy!”
(Based on 1 Jn 5:5-13 and Mk 1:7-11 – Christmas Weekday)
The Rosary is a beautiful prayer that takes us through the life of Jesus…
… holding the hands of Blessed Mother Mary.
It was on October 16, 2002 that Pope St. John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae” proposed and recommended a new set of mysteries to be meditated on when praying the Rosary – The Mysteries of Light.
One reason for this addition of the “Luminous Mysteries” to the ancient prayer of the Rosary…
… was to encourage all Catholics to contemplate Jesus in the daily life of his public ministry.
Jesus was a not a person away from the people…
… rather He was very close to the daily struggles and the everyday happenings of the people!
Therefore, the “Luminous Mysteries” remind that God is always “with His people and identifies with them”…
… starting with the Lord’s Baptism
… then the Wedding at Cana
… followed by His proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion
… moving on to the Transfiguration Experience
… concludes with the Institution of the Holy Eucharist – His beautiful way of “being with His people” always!
Yes, God loves to “be with His people and identify with them”
The Gospel of the Day presents this beautiful incident of God Who identifies Himself with the sinful humanity through the event of the Baptism of Jesus (Mk 1: 6-11)
The passage begins with an introduction to the person of John the Baptist.
Being clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist and feeding on locusts and wild honey (Mk 1: 6)…
… John the Baptist resembled Elijah (2 Kings 1:8)
He was the messenger, who would prepare the way for Christ, the King…
… just as “a messenger was sent by every king” in order to prepare the people for his reception!
A man filled with humility, John the Baptist declares of the coming of the Messiah and of His Greatness:
“I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen the thongs of His Sandals…
… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1:8)
These are two dimensions we can greatly learn from John the Baptist:
- Being a messenger of Christ
Do we also, in our own places of work and acquaintance, be a “Messenger for Christ” by radiating the Gospel Values – in conviction and without any compromise?
- Growing in the virtue of humility
Do we also, practise acts of humility, so that all our words and actions, may render glory to God and His Kingdom?
As John the Baptist goes about baptizing people…
… he is encountered by Jesus Himself. (Mk 1: 9)
What follows is a beautiful act: The Son of God humbles Himself, before His messenger, “who himself had humbled before Him!”
This act of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus was the Lord’s way of showing forth His Mission: Identifying with the people and taking their place!
All His actions on the earth would show forth this aspect: Identifying with the people and taking their place!
… His Incarnation: Being born as a human – and dwelling among people
… His Preaching the Kingdom of God: Moving from one place to another – in touch with the realities of life
… His Passion and Death: Experiencing the pains and sufferings of life, especially death – the consequence of sin
Why was the Lord so insistent in “identifying with the people?”
It was His beautiful reminder to all of us: That He is always with us – loving us and being intimate to us!
He is not a God away from the people…
… rather He is very close to the daily struggles and the everyday happenings of people!
This is the beautiful truth that all of us need to be convinced of, and live it in our day-to-day life: That God is always with us.
Even when we go through the struggles of life…
… financial crisis crashing our life
… relationships hitting rock bottom
… memories of the past scarring us
… uncertainties of the future haunting us
May we realize: That God identifies with us, and He is with us!
It is the conviction in this Truth that will help us to always be “joyful in life”!
Externally, things may not really go the way we want or wish…
… but the conviction that “God identifies with my situation” ought to be a huge boost for us to be firm in life!
Apparently, situations may be really harsh and we may feel really worried..
… but the fact that “God is with me at this present moment” should become the positive stroke for us to remain steadfast and hopeful!
Yes, the Lord “Who is the Light and in Whom there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5)…
… constantly calls us live our “life in light” under His “Luminous Mysteries!”
On this First Friday of the month and of this new year, let’s surrender ourselves to the Sacred Heart of our Blessed Lord!
May this Gospel Reflection on the “Baptism of Jesus” – wherein God shows that “He is with His people and identifies with them”…
… help us to constantly live our lives in hope and joy!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
The Byzantine Liturgy recognizes several formulas of absolution, in the form of invocation, which admirably express the mystery of forgiveness:
“May the same God, who through the Prophet Nathan forgave David when he confessed his sins
… who forgave Peter when he wept bitterly
… the prostitute when she washed his feet with her tears
… the publican, and the prodigal son
… through me, a sinner, forgive you both in this life and in the next and enable you to appear before his awe-inspiring tribunal without condemnation
… He Who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.” (CCC # 1481)