THIS IS MY BELOVED SON
This Sunday’s celebration of the Baptism of the Lord closes the Christmas season. In the scriptures we see one more epiphany, or manifestation, of the Spirit of God in Jesus—but this time it is as an adult, rather than as a child. Jesus’ baptism also serves as the inauguration of his prophetic mission and the messianic age.
Today’s reading from Isaiah describes God’s chosen Messiah, upon whom God’s spirit rests. In the Acts of the Apostles Peter says that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power” (Acts 10:38). Finally, in the proclamation from Matthew’s Gospel Jesus’ baptism in water goes almost unnoticed. The crucial moment comes when the Spirit of God comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven echoes the words of Isaiah: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
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First Reading — Isaiah speaks of the Servant whom the Lord upholds; he shall bring forth justice to the nations (Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7).
Psalm — The Lord will bless his people with peace (Psalm 29).
Second Reading — Jesus was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit; he went out healing and doing good (Acts 10:34-38).
Gospel — A voice comes from heaven proclaiming Jesus as the beloved Son, with