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  • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study January 9, 2011 The Baptism of the Lord A In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 2. 1st reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7   1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, 2 not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 4 until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. 6 I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
  • 3. 1st reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7   1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, 2 not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 4 until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. 6 I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. The focus is on God’s servant.
  • 4. A simple outline! 1st reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 Presentation of God’s servant to the People  1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, 2 not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 4 until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. God’s address to his servant  6 I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
  • 5. 1st reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 Presentation of God’s servant to the People  1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, 2 not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 4 until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. God’s address to his servant  6 I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. Commentary  In vv.1-4, God presents his servant to the people in Exile.  V.1 indicates the status of God’s servant: – Whom I uphold – My chosen one – With whom I am pleased – Upon whom I put my spirit.  God has a special relationship with his servant.  V.1b indicates his servant’s mission: – He shall bring forth justice to the nations. (tall order)     V.2 indicates that his servant will work for justice quietly. (not seeking publicity) V.3 indicates that his servant will not cut short anything that is about to end or decapitate, but will have the patience to let nature take its course. (He is patient.) In v.4, the justice to be established by God’s servant will be universal. In v.4, God’s servant is also seen as a teacher.
  • 6. 1st reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 Presentation of God’s servant to the People  1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, 2 not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 4 until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. God’s address to his servant  6 I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. In v.6, God tenderly speaks about his servant’s vocation.  He will be victorious in his fight for justice. (successful, effective)  God has shown himself to be a kind father to his servant/son.  “He holds him by the hand” evokes the tender guidance of the Father to his son.  “I formed you” may no longer refer to his being formed in his mother’s womb, but to his education, formation as his servant grows up. (formed)  Vv.6-7 also indicate the big mission of his servant: – To be a covenant of the people (source of bonding) – To be a light to the nations (guide) – To open the eyes of the blind (gives understanding) – To bring out prisoners from the prison cell (liberator) – To bring those in darkness out of dungeons (redeemer, ransom-er).
  • 7. Reflections on the 1st reading      Like God’s servant in Isaiah, we are also called to establish justice upon the earth. We have been called to serve God’s interests by virtue of our baptism. It is a contradiction in terms if we, Christians, cause injustice, or, if we do not work for justice. Now we do not talk of justice due only to us, individuals, but also due to society (social justice) and to the environment (environmental justice). We can’t establish justice if we are isolated from one another. (need for networking)
  • 8. Resp. Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10  R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.  1 Give to the LORD, you sons of God, give to the LORD glory and praise, 2 Give to the LORD the glory due his name; adore the LORD in holy attire.  3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters, the LORD, over vast waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is mighty; the voice of the LORD is majestic.  9 The God of glory thunders, and in his temple all say, “Glory!” 10The LORD is enthroned above the flood.
  • 9. Resp. Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10  R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.  1 Give to the LORD, you sons of God, give to the LORD glory and praise, 2 Give to the LORD the glory due his name; adore the LORD in holy attire.  3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters, the LORD, over vast waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is mighty; the voice of the LORD is majestic.  9 The God of glory thunders, and in his temple all say, “Glory!” 10The LORD is enthroned above the flood. Commentary  Vv.1-2 exhort us to give glory to God.  V.2 exhorts us to worship God in holy (proper) attire.  Vv.3,4, 9-10 give us the reasons for giving God the glory.  The psalmist uses the forces of nature to portray God’s presence.  God pervades over all (the imagery recalls Genesis 1,1-3 or the flood story).  The author uses the vocabulary of the ancient Canaanites.
  • 10. Reflections on the Psalm God does not only speak to us tenderly.  He also speaks to us thunderously, shaking us or even frightening us.  God makes himself felt through his voice.  Therefore, when we hear his voice, when he shakes us, we must render him glory.  If we do not hear his voice, we must seek healing. We might be spiritually dead. 
  • 11. 2nd reading: Acts 10:34-38  34 Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 35 Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. 36 You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
  • 12. 2nd reading: Acts 10:34-38  34 Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 35 Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. 36 You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. The focus is on the anointed Jesus.
  • 13. 2nd reading: Acts 10:34-38 A simple outline! God himself  34 Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 35 Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. God through Jesus Christ  36 You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
  • 14. 2nd reading: Acts 10:34-38 God himself Commentary   34 Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 35 Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. God through Jesus Christ  36 You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, 37 what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.     Intro: Peter, the apostle, preaches in the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. He explains why he is there. (in previous verses) In v.34, Peter affirms that God has no partiality. God does not discriminate against the Gentiles. God accepts all individuals who fear him and are righteous. V.35 V.36 recalls God’s dealing with the Israelites through Jesus Christ. – Peace is proclaimed through Jesus Christ.    V.37 points to the events after the baptism of Jesus by John. V.38 points also to the event when God anoints Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power. – This is the baptism of Jesus. V.38b indicates the mission of Jesus after his baptism. – Doing good – Healing those oppressed by the devil (exorcism)
  • 15. Reflections on the 2nd reading    As God loves everyone, so must we. Jesus’ ministry consists in healing and casting out demons and in doing good works. In our baptism, we are called to share in the mission of Jesus (preaching, healing, exorcising demons of our society, and forgiving).     Let us not squander our vocation. Let us take responsibility… let us not prolong our adolescence. Let us not become instruments of the devil that promotes complacency and negligence. Let us live as committed / engaged Christians.
  • 16. Gospel reading: Matthew 3:13-17  13 Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?" 15 Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
  • 17. Gospel reading: Matthew 3:13-17  13 Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?" 15 Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." The focus is on the baptism of Jesus.
  • 18. Gospel reading: Matthew 3:13-17 A simple outline! Jesus coming for baptism  13 Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?" 15 Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him. After the baptism of Jesus  16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
  • 19. Gospel reading: Matthew 3:13-17 Jesus coming for baptism  13 Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?" 15 Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him. Commentary  In v.13, Jesus volunteers to be baptized.  In v.14, John does not feel at ease with Jesus coming to him for baptism.  John realizes his sinfulness and Jesus’ holiness.  In v.15, Jesus pleads with him.  Reason: to fulfill all righteousness. It is OK with God if he is baptized.  It is righteous to do so.  John obeys even if he does not understand.
  • 20. Gospel reading: Matthew 3:13-17 After the baptism of Jesus  16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."   Matthew does not describe how John baptized Jesus. In v.16, Matthew describes what happens after the baptism of Jesus: – The heavens are opened. – He sees the Spirit of God descending upon him. – A voice speaks.  It affirms the identity of Jesus: God’s beloved Son.  It repeats what is said in the first reading.
  • 21.    The synoptics agree that before Jesus begins his mission, he must first be baptized, where he is introduced to the people as God’s beloved Son. At baptism, Jesus is identified as coming from God, as possessing the power of the Holy Spirit, with wisdom and might. Without baptism, Jesus cannot begin his mission.
  • 22. Reflections on the gospel reading Like in the baptism of Jesus, we are publicly declared by God as his children, his sons and daughters.  We belong to God’s family.  If we belong to God, then we have to live according to his grace.  Sin (un-Christian attitudes and behaviors, irreverence) should have no place in our hearts and minds.  We live according to our dignity as God’s children, possessing God’s spirit of love, freedom and righteousness. 
  • 23. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm     From the Christian point of view, the first reading speaks of Jesus as the servant, the chosen and the beloved one of God, who has a big mission on earth. The psalm exhorts us to give glory to God, who speaks in a loud voice, so audible that we cannot ignore him. The gospel reading describes how Jesus is baptized. He is declared as the beloved son of God. It is the beginning of his mission. In the second reading, Jesus, as baptized, goes around from Galilee, doing good works and powerful deeds not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles.
  • 24. How to develop your homily / sharing       The baptism of our Lord is the theme of this Sunday’s liturgy. His baptism is not that of repentance, but the beginning of his mission. In his baptism, God introduces Jesus to the people as his beloved son. For us, listeners, we must take Jesus seriously. He is not an ordinary person, nor just one of the religious charismatic leaders. He is God-sent, anointed, comes from God and has a divine mission.
  • 25.    He does this through his words and deeds. His words are his sayings, parables, teachings, etc. His deeds are his miracles, healings, casting out of demons, and forgiving.  His awareness as the Son of God, beloved, chosen one, etc., makes him stand by his mission.  This feast is a good occasion for us, Christians, to reflect on our baptism. Our baptism purifies us from our sins and removes the original sin. We are also declared by God as his beloved ones, his sons and daughters. Our baptism incorporates us into the family of God, in the Church, Christ’s body.   
  • 26. Our baptism marks the beginning of our mission.  Doing nothing to spread the good news is reneging in our vocation as Christians.  Having no drive nor the energy to do some mission and apostolate renders meaningless our identity as Christians.  There is no meaningful Christian life without a commitment. 
  • 27. The Christian parents must be the first teachers of their children on faith and morals, on human values like justice and peace, harmony, love of our planet earth, etc.  They must also study their faith.  Deep understanding of Christian faith makes one committed to it. 
  • 28.     Catechism must be supported at all costs. Alas, many of our churches spend more money for renovations, physical improvements, and decorations than supporting the catechists and educating young people to the true faith in God. Many church leaders and pastors are also misguided regarding their priorities. Sharing in the mission of Christ by virtue of our baptism is not a picnic, but an intelligent commitment and a total sacrifice to combat evil and promote God’s interests
  • 29. We have been baptized to enable us to participate in the eucharistic celebrations.  In the eucharist, we express our belief that we are God’s children and we find meaning in our identity only in the practice of our faith, in being committed.  In the eucharist, we show our consent to God that we will share in His mission.  In the eucharist, Jesus comes to console us in the midst of the world’s opposition to be evangelized by us. 
  • 30. Our Context of Sin and Grace   Nominal christians (Christians in name)      Ignorance of faith Negligent parents in terms of teaching their children how to pray and fear God Tyrant missionaries Ill-equipped missionaries Spiritually dead Christians     Whole family read the Bible, they go to Church. Missionaries focused on evangelization, not on gadgets Prayerful missionary presence Committed Christians Engaged Christians
  • 31. Suggested Songs  Go Tell Everyone  Isang Pananampalataya  Service  Christmas songs