I meant to post my homily notes before the Baptism of the Lord.
Readings: IS 42:1-4, 6-7; PS 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10; ACTS 10:34-38; LK 3:15-16, 21-22
In the Gospel of Luke we have one of the four accounts of the baptism of Jesus. Each account emphasis is different. Each account has a slightly different perspective.
The Lukan perspective is centered on the prayer of Jesus which in the Holy Spirit reveals the interior dialog of Father and Son.
‘… and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying’
In very few instances of sacred Scripture can we use one of the alternate definitions of prayer in the Jewish tradition; here this prayer is an introspection and bonding.
In this prayer both Father and Son answer the question in the context of a deep judgment — ‘who am I’.
This baptismal prayer is a communal bonding of Father and Son. This prayer is a reciprocal and dynamic expression of communion. The Father’s love for the Son is not static or stale. Rather it is loving communion that is ever-dynamic and ever-fresh. In this case we see how this is so based on other known aspects of the divine life.
‘… The heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove’
The presence of the Holy Spirit in this prayer exchange would be understood in the context of known perspectives of the Spirit. As we see in 1 Corr 2:10:
This God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
In this baptismal exchange the Holy Spirit reveals the very depths of God. The Spirit searching everything that is God and the revelation of the mystery of God’s wisdom.
We humans cannot do this. Dominus providebit. The Lord will provide.
Who am I?
In the baptism of the Lord the question is asked and answered by the Father and the Son at the probing of the Holy Spirit. To the very depths of the Father we find him and He tell us directly.
You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.
God is the very essence of beloved. Jesus is the beloved. God is love. Jesus is love. That is who they are.
Actually, to put it in modern terms and in parental terms we can all best relate.
This voice from heaven is the exuberant overflowing irresistible primal utterance coming from the very depths of a parent —- I Love YOU!
This inner life of God the Father and Son brought out to us by the Holy Spirit is the very life Jesus baptizes us into. This is the final end for us to be in the middle of this dynamic ever fresh love.
God’s love for you is never stale, never static and never unreflective.
Rather in every prayer you raise to God the Father allows the Holy Spirit to probe his depths and bring forward this eternal reality.
I love you, my beloved!