January 13, 2013: The Baptism of the Lord
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“…Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.” USCCB Themes from Catholic Social Teaching
First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Psalm: 29: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10
Second Reading: Acts 10:34-38
Gospel: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
Year C Alternative Readings
First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Psalm: 104:1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, And 29-30
Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Psalm 104 “The Old Testament presents God as the omnipotent Creator who fashions man in His image…”, 255
Psalm 104:24 “…Creation is always an object of praise in Israel’s prayer…Salvation is perceived as a new creation that reestablishes the harmony and potential for growth that sin has compromised.”, 452
Acts 10:34 “God shows no partiality, since all people have the same dignity as creatures made in His image and likeness…”, 144
Acts 10:36 “Working for peace can never be separated from announcing the Gospel, which is in fact the good news of peace addressed to all men and women…”, 493
The waters of baptism flow to the river of justice, when we believe in our call to live as children of God. But are we busy beavers damming the rivers to restrain the grace as a personal possession that we hoard instead of sharing with humanity. If God shows no partiality, why should we? After Jesus and all the people received baptism, He prayed for strength in light of the injustice He would confront and a witness to those present of the need for prayer in their lives. In discerning our baptismal call do we pray or just act? Do we accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a purifying fire to melt ice jams, on the rivers of justice that once chilled our hearts, so we offer comfort to our brothers and sisters confined in the darkness of dehumanizing injustice to renew the face of the earth?
From the baptism of water and the Spirit, we know the Lord will bless His people with peace. We will manifest that peace when we show no partiality, as God shows no partiality; when we continually immerse ourselves in baptismal grace and don’t just proverbially wiggle our toes to test the water; when we let the Holy Spirit descend in the depths of our souls to move us to action for justice in places and ways we could never envision; and when we follow Jesus’ example to eagerly go about doing good in love as God has loved us. As we live temperately, justly and devoutly, we await the blessed hope our savior Jesus Christ gives us in mercy.
Individual Reflection: Acts 10:34-38
January 18 to 25th is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Share the words of the prophet Micah with a gathering of an ecumenical group of friends. Following is a link for resources from the Vatican website:
Family Reflection: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
At dinner each night this week, set a bowl of water and a lighted candle on the table and have each family member pray for the grace to live their baptismal call and the Holy Spirit to enliven their heart.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born January 8, 2013 The reflection maybe use in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns