‘He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms’
Today marks the end of the Christmas season, as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. It heralds the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry; the work of teaching, preaching and healing. His baptism reveals God’s great love and mercy and the offer salvation to all through Jesus, by the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel, God proclaims Jesus as his beloved Son at his baptism in the Jordan. St Luke draws our attention to the descent of the Holy Spirit while Jesus is at prayer. And the first Reading offers hope and joy. God has seen his people repent and will bring them home across the desert. He is both their defender and their shepherd, who gathers, guides and nourishes.
The image of God gathering and nourishing is echoed in today’s familiar Psalm. The Lord renews with his Spirit all who look to him. Even as we continue to walk through uncertainties of hard economic, health, and social challenges, let us look up to the Lord with renewed
St Paul in the second reading tells us it is entirely due to God’s mercy, love and compassion that we are offered salvation; not for anything we have achieved. God’s loving kindness is revealed through ‘the cleansing water of rebirth’ and renewal with the Holy Spirit in Christ. So, today, is an opportunity to reflect on the gift of baptism. We remind ourselves that the words spoken at Jesus’s baptism also apply to us. We, too, are beloved daughters and sons of God, called to make known the love of God to all we meet.
Christian Action This Week: Let’s pray for whatever grace God feels we need to help us.
Joy and Peace.