• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 08 January 2021 18:40

The Baptism of the Lord - 2021

Written by Fr Yon Wiryono SVD

Fr Yon Wiryono headshot 150

Dear brothers and sisters,

The first Sunday after the Solemnity of the Epiphany, we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This feast day marks the end of the Christmas liturgical season. The joyfulness of the Christmas season is brought to fulfillment by the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The Baptism of the Lord is the third of three great manifestations or revelations which characterise the Christmas season.

Firstly, The celebration of Christmas, a time when God comes among us with the Good News for the poor, the outcast and the sinner. Jesus is born in poverty and the first to come to pay him homage are poor and marginalised shepherds.

Secondly, the Epiphany: when God comes among us with a message of salvation for everyone, not just for one particular group.

Thirdly, the Baptism of Jesus, in which God is seen as present in Jesus and working in him and through him.

Sunday’s celebration, commemorates Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan when the Holy Spirit descended on him. It marks the start of Jesus’ ministry: that The Holy Spirit of God works in and through Jesus. The Gospel tells us that during Jesus’ baptism, the Father, says “You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.”  We could call this “Jesus’ Pentecost experience”. It is a form of “mission mandate”. Jesus is being officially commissioned to begin his public ministry up to the climactic moment of his passion, death and resurrection.

What reflections do we observe from the feast of the baptism of the Lord?

First of all, it is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our own baptism. It is not something which happened a long time ago and which “made” us Catholics. It is not just a ceremony lasting a few minutes, but it is the beginning of a lifelong journey. It is the beginning of a process of growing into the Body of Christ as its members. It is not to become an ordinary member of Jesus’ Church, just like being the member of an organisation, but we ourselves become the mystical body of Christ: we are the body of Christ.

St Teresa of Avila puts it this way “Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours, Jesus has no body on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he walks to do good, with which he looks compassion on this world, yours are the hands with which he blessed all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body”.  In other words, we the baptised people are His body.

Therefore, our baptism is essentially a community experience. It is not just a private or a family event although in the way it was “celebrated” it may have looked like that. It is a baptism into a community of the mystical body of Christ. This means that we are the body of Christ and therefore we are connected to one another.

All baptised people are brothers and sisters. We are all the members of one body. The baptism of Jesus reminds us of our identity: it reminds us of who we are and whose we are.  By Baptism we become the adoptive sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, members of his Church, heirs of Heaven and temples of the Holy Spirit. We become incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ.

Secondly, just like Jesus who was commissioned by God the Father to proclaim the Kingdom of God, through our own baptism we are all commissioned to mission: to build up the Kingdom of God wherever we are. Each one of us is called to be a living witness to the Gospel: to be the salt of the earth, a city on a hill, a lamp radiating light for all. Our baptism is a never ending call to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Therefore, to grow in the living body of Christ, we need to be nourished by Christ himself. That is why we need to always nourish ourselves by the sacraments available in the church. If we are baptised, but we hardly receive the sacraments, such as Eucharist, reconciliation, and some other sacraments, we can’t really grow well into the living body of Christ on earth. We cannot live our vocation well as baptised missionary if we don’t receive the sacraments regularly. So let’s today on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, in the New Year 2021, also renew our commitment to follow Jesus and to reaffirm our readiness to carry on his work and mission with joy that comes from Jesus who is born and lives in us.