Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Sunday Readings

 

The Meditation

for

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 12, 2020

Readings: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts of the Apostles 10:34-38; Matthew 3: 13-17 
In the First Reading,  from the prophet Isaiah,  God speaks to us out of His infinity and the intimacy of the Triune Godhead—The Father gives his Son as Servant to Israel and humanity, upon whom the Holy Spirit rests: 
 
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my spirit …

 
Israel kept this prophecy-promise alive until the arrival of Jesus as Son of God and Savior.  Jesus Christ is the Full Glory of Israel made manifest.  Now in the midst of Israel stands John the Baptist calling people to repentance in expectation of the fulfillment of the Old Covenant’s Promise.  Bathing in water is a Jewish ritual of cleansing especially for converts to the Way of Moses.
 
Now here John is baptizing  those who are already of the Jewish covenant  in anticipation of the fulfillment of the Promise to Israel.  Prepare for the Kingdom of God.  
 
Every time you enter into prayer, you are in Advent, awaiting Christ’s Coming while enjoying His Presence there already.
 
Jesus comes unto John and accepts the baptism of the Baptist.  The Savior in fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah: Christ is one with the people to be saved.  From the very beginning entrance into the Kingdom is confession and repentance of sin.
 
Jesus who is without sin takes sin upon Himself to redeem us from sin.  From the very beginning of the New Covenant, Jesus is one with us in the depths of our human condition.  Jesus, however, does not remain in the negative of sin but turns to the future, toward something new: the fulfillment of all that was promised.  The fulfillment is the Kingdom of divine adoption. 
 
Jesus shares our human condition; we share His divine condition of Sonship in the Holy Spirit:  we become sons and daughters of the Father in the regeneration of our own baptism.  The baptism of Jesus looks to the Transfiguration where the divinity of Divine Sonship shines through the humanity of Christ.  The Voice of the Father, heard at the Baptism, is really for us, calling us into adoption as the children of God by sharing the Divine Nature.
 
Jesus is baptized in the water as one of us.  Here is the first step that leads to the cross whereon Jesus dies in the sin and violence of the human race to redeem us from our sins and our death and to give us a new birth as children of God. 
 
Jesus makes us temples of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and makes us new creatures:  He takes the  oppression of our original and personal sin upon himself.  This is the prime oppression, the root of all of man’s oppressions:
 
  Healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him (The Second Reading).
 
Notice the contemplative call within the Readings. 
 
First, there is the Silence and Hiddenness of the Savior promised—Not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street  (from the First Reading).
 
Notice the contemplative heart of Jesus:  
 
When all the people were baptized, and Jesus was at prayer after likewise being baptized, the skies opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a visible form like a dove.  A voice from heaven was heard to say, “You are my beloved Son, on you my favor rests”  (The Gospel of St. Luke).
 
This Sunday ends the Christmas cycle.  We finish with the revelation of Jesus as Savior and Son of God. 
 
Let our Holy Communion be a full surrender into the divine life of the Trinity.  From the most
inner depths of our contemplative union within God let us live for others for the coming of the Kingdom.
 

 

 

 
William Fredrickson, Obl. Secular OSB; D.Min.
 
 
 

 
 


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Frederickson
Fredrickson46@msn.com