Baptism and Chaos
Greetings on this 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; Mk 1:7-11
Note: The photo is not the USA but it just might well have been. The chaos of these days remains with us as we enter the joyful feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We remain stunned with the coldness of the human heart. Both those who acted in the first instance and those who continue to support President Trump in the second instance.
The Gospel of Mark uses a specific literary tool to set apart a portion of sacred scripture as have a unity that may escape the simple linear reading of the text, intercalation and bracketing.
Today’s reading gives us an example of bracketing. The bracketing gives us a more powerful understanding of divine Exousia. Exousia is the power of choice, or liberty of doing as one pleases and in this case the Divine choice.
The Divine choice to:
- End the separation between heaven and earth.
- Begin the communication in the flesh (incarnation).
- Cleave the gap between God and Man.
The heavens rent – opening of heaven symbolizes the end of separation from God and the beginning of communication between heaven and earth (ISA 64:1 and Bar 22:1)
Mark 1:10 Baptism
- Heavens torn open – divine communication.
- Spirit Descends – divine communication.
- You are my Son whom I am well pleased – divine communication.
Here Jesus accepts the divine mission of Baptism leading to our own baptism of repentance, Holy Spirit and fire for the forgiveness of sins.
Gospel Life of Jesus
The life of Jesus Christ in-between doing good works and healing those in the grip of the devil. He came to baptize to restore the old man to new life, heal our sinful nature and clothe us with unfailing holiness.
We are encouraged by the psalmist to draw water joyfully from the font that is Jesus Christ.
Mark 15:38 Death
- Jesus breathes his last – divine communication.
- Curtin of the Temple torn in two from top to bottom – divine communication.
- Centurion said – Truly this man was God’s Son – man’s response.
It is most important to note that the Centurion response is the completion of the divine communication in the bracketing of the Gospel of Mark. God’s word does not go forth without completing his mission.
A Wondrous Mystery
Father’s voice – my beloved Son, listen to him.
Reversal of the tragedy of original sin.
The invitation to have a human exousia – a free decision to accept the divine gift of baptism, forgiveness and the path to holiness.
Creator of the Universe washed away our sins in the Jordan River and by the pouring out of his blood. The Baptismal event is made full in the last breath of Jesus.
As we go to receive the Eucharistic gift may we repeat the trinity response of repentance, prayer (communion) and an openness to suffering.
I have not been shy on writing about the failing of the faithful to detect the wholly ill-suited and disqualifying characteristics of Donald Trump in the first election and certainly by the second election. But those who remain bound to Trump and his message of hate I dare say reconsider the formation of conscience should have been strong enough to detect the more excellent decision for Biden even in his deficiency. You failed the basic test – being anti-abortion isn’t a function of law it is a function of heart. There are many ways to help women find the excellent answer. You refuse to see but one, law.
Peace be with you,