Gospel – Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Reflection on Sunday Gospel

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…

Today’s Gospel asks us to remember, at least, two very important things.  First, that we each have an important role of care and service regardless of how we see ourselves. Second, a reminder and affirmation that God decided to and was pleased to send His Son into our world.

John the Baptist doesn’t really want to baptize Jesus, because he knows who Jesus is. However it is John’s role, John’s time, and John’s place to care for Jesus as John has done for so many others.  All of our parts, all of our ministries, all of our work is important and contributes to the whole.  We each play our part, in our time, in our way and with our talents.  We each need to prayerfully remember that about ourselves and all those around us so that we might be able to say thank you, appreciate what the other has done, and make sure they know they are valued; that favor rests on them.

I can’t quite imagine the scene at the river Jordan, but I try to picture it. First, someone goes up to John to be baptized, I suppose.  And then another. There are some, I am sure, that John has to convince to be baptized. Then someone comes forward freely, and John says he does not want to do baptize them?  John gives in reluctantly, performing the baptism, and then the heavens open up. God’s presence is known and people become aware it is truly Jesus standing among them, and God’s joy in Him being in our world.  I wonder what the side conversations were right after the Gospel story ends. What did the folks who were most likely watching think of all of this?

Of course central to both veins of this Gospel is the closing line of the passage, “This is my beloved Son with whom I  am well pleased.”  This is the message of God to each of us as we are baptized, and need to remember each day as we try to live out our lives as baptized Christians – God is well pleased with us.  Let us live up to that and be our best selves for our God.

St. John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever!

Br. James Martino, FSC