The First Mystery of Light -The Baptism of the Lord
In the Synoptic Gospels’ accounts of the baptism of Jesus, a voice from heaven is heard saying: “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” or “in whom I find my delight”. It is worth recalling that the same words were heard at the Transfiguration with the addition of an imperative, “Listen to him”. But here, at the Baptism, there is no such imperative, but a declaration. When we are baptised, we share in Christ’s real baptism, his death and resurrection for our salvation, and become adopted daughters and sons in the Son. And so the beautiful and tender words of this declaration to Jesus at his baptism by John apply to us as well: “You are my beloved in whom I find my delight”.
It may well be that we don’t feel delightful or lovable, and Lent may seem like a time to recall our wretchedness, but we do well to recall that God does not dwell on our sins but always embraces us with these words and loves us so much that he sent his Beloved Son to die for sinners, his beloved sons and daughters.
If we are so caught up in our sinfulness we can become turned inward and so miss the wonderful work that God has initiated in our lives. Gazing at ourselves and our ills, we don’t see that God sends his Spirit of love upon us. Hearing only the clamour of our Accuser, we miss the Father’s voice from heaven claiming us as his own.
The next time we sign ourselves with holy water as we enter a church and we recall our baptism, let us try to catch a glimpse of what Jesus clearly beheld: that God delights in us because we are his beloved children. Then, healed by the Father’s love and redeemed by the Son’s death and touched by the Spirit’s presence, we are ready to be sent on a mission of love as Jesus was.