The Baptism of the Lord Year B by Fr Isaac A.  Mensah

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The Baptism of the Lord Year B by Fr Isaac A.  Mensah

First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:3
Second Reading: 1 John 5:1-9
Gospel: Mark 1:7-11

Theme: You Are My Beloved



Human beings are born to love. They are created to become loving. Thus everyone has the capacity to love. But how do you feel when you become the object of love. Have you ever felt loved? How was the feeling? What does it mean when someone calls you beloved?

The English word “beloved” means loved very much or dear to the heart. In other words A person who is “beloved” is very loved such as your husband/wife or parents. Generally it is a person who we have loved for a long time or very deeply.

Explanation of the Text

Today in our Gospel reading we read Mark’s account of the baptism of the Lord. This pericope ends with “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” In Mark’s Gospel, the story of Jesus’ baptism tells us who Jesus is. From the very beginning of the story, Mark wants us to know who Jesus is: Son of God and Servant of all. In the coming of Jesus, something radically new has occurred. The new age of salvation has dawned. God has opened the heavens and spoken in a new and decisive way. The words of the heavenly Voice combine elements of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1. Exegetical study of these background texts can provide further depth and insight into the meaning of this heavenly acclamation.

By this account Mark didn’t mince words by being straight forward with the mission of Jesus and also to reveal Jesus’identity as the Beloved of God. The baptism of the Lord today reminds us also of our own baptism. In our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah there’s a divine invitation to come to the waters at no cost where a new identity would be given us and our mission well spelt out.

“You’re my beloved”- when we rise from the waters of baptism we are named God’s beloved sons and daughters. And a new identity is given us with mission to accomplish. But in a world filled with all kinds of other voices to sway us from that heavenly voice, do we still hear “You’re my beloved, after every act?

My dear friends the truth of the matter is that the Voice is always there. When life becomes difficult and the way grows dark. When we hurt and fail one another, or lose someone we love. When faith grows dim. When our work grows wearisome. When we face an uncertain future. When we lift our hands to the heavens in fear or pain, the Voice is always there: “You are my Beloved, gifted by my Spirit, called and sent to join me at work in the world.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine. You are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you. Do not fear, for I am with you” (Isaiah 43:1-5). “Beloved” is our name. And that makes all the difference. This is exactly what our second reading from the first letter of John also alludes to when it says that “for whatever is born of God overcomes the world…”


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