Advent & Christmastide: January 2011 Archives
"A voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
The Baptism in the Jordan returns to the great Christmas theme of 'Christification', Jesus of Nazareth's spiritual anointing, His presentation as the Anointed One per excellence, the Messiah or the One sent by the Father for the salvation of mankind. The Spirit that descended on Jesus shows and seals in an incontrovertible way the 'Christification' of Jesus' humanity that the Word had already fulfilled from the first moment of His miraculous conception by Mary. Jesus, from the very beginning, was always the Lord's Christ, He was always God. ...the Baptism in the Jordan presents yet another truth: that Jesus has started a new creation. He is the second man (1 Cor 15:47) or the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45), that comes to repair the first Adam's guilt. He does this as the Lamb of God that takes away our sins. 'Looking at the events in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realised what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind's guilt upon His shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan. He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners.' (Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, Bloomsbury 2007, p. 18)
Excerpt from the Letter from Cong. pro Clericus, 2011
Sadly, the bishops in the USA moved the celebration of Epiphany to a Sunday but in other dioceses, particularly Rome, the traditional Epiphany Mass is celebrated. How much is lost when we monkey around with the sacred Liturgy!!! At Mass today, the Pope preached, given in part:
"In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, its greatness and rationality," said Pope Benedict, "we cannot fail to read the eternal rationality; we can not help but be guided by it to the one God, Creator of heaven and earth."
"Herod is a character whom we do not like, whom we instinctively judge in a negative way for his brutality. But we should ask ourselves: maybe there is something of Herod in us? Perhaps we, too, on occasion, see God as a kind of rival? Perhaps we too are blind to his signs, deaf to his words, because we think they put limits on our lives and do not allow us to dispose of our existence howsoever we will?"
O wondrous exchange!
The Creator of humanity,
taking upon Himself a living body,
vouchsafed to be born of a virgin,
and, proceeding forth as man, without seed,
has made us partakers of His divinity.
"The Magi worshipped a simple Child in the arms of his Mother Mary, because in him they recognized the source of the twofold light that had guided them: the light of the star and the light of the Scriptures. In him they recognized the King of the Jews, the glory of Israel, but also the King of all the peoples" (Benedict XVI).
A blessed Epiphany to you!