1.31.2016 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome back!

Resources:  This week’s readings are here. Here is the 1.page.bible.timeline.

Fun Fact – The Divided Kingdom:
Today’s fun fact is a actually a quick lesson. One of the most important OT events involves the division of The Davidic Kingdom. If you are familiar with this event, reading the bible becomes far more exciting! In the simplest possible terms, here it is:

  • ~200 years after the Exodus, there was a period of relative peace. The 12 tribes of Israel were united (One Holy Nation).  They asked for a King. God obliged (reluctantly).
  • Israel’s first 3 kings were Saul, David, & Solomon (think “S-D-S” to remember the order). Under a King’s leadership, they became One Holy Kingdom. This kingdom wasn’t united for long.
  • When King Solomon died, his 2 sons (Reheboam and Jereboam) couldn’t agree on who should be king of Israel. The 2 sons divided the kingdom. A bad, bad decision.
    • 10 tribes went North and became “Israel.” Assyria conquered them later.
    • 2 tribes went South and became “Judah.” Babylon conquered and exiled them later.

When the kingdom divided, God’s voice on Earth was needed. He sent prophets to 1) reunite the people 2) encourage them to return to God, and 3) warn them about destruction from enemy armies (Assyrians and Babylonians).

When we hear “A Reading from the Book of the Prophet __”, we can answer the question, “Where in the bible are we?” As we keep learning, we’ll better understand the prophet’s message and audience. Some speak to the North, some to the South, and occasionally they speak to the reigning kings of that time. Where does Jeremiah fit? Let’s find out.

1st Reading: JEREMIAH 1:4-5, 17-19

BACKGROUND
Jeremiah prophesied before Babylon conquered Judah (the South) in 586. He’s there to warn them. Often referred to by scholars as “the weeping prophet” Jeremiah weeps for his people who are far from God. We’re hearing God’s prophetic calls this January. God calls Jeremiah this week, and next week, we hear God call Isaiah. Perhaps, as we start the new liturgical year and approach Lent, this is the Church’s way of “calling” us, too. (We are after all, baptized priest, prophet and king.)
READING
When God calls Jeremiah to be His prophet, we hear, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jer 1:5). That verse is enough to ponder and pray on this week. We are each infinitely precious to God, and infinitely important. Interestingly, when God calls Jeremiah we hear echoes of God’s call to Moses:
– Ex 4:12: “Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
– Jer 1:7 “Whatever I command you you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” In sum, Jeremiah has a very hard job ahead of him (“gird up your loins”). He will take on the unpopular role of whistle-blower – he has to tell God’s people that due to their unfaithfulness, Judgement is coming.  God assures him “They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.”
God says the same to us today – no matter your current struggle, God will deliver you.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 71
“I will Sing of Your Salvation”

This is a Psalm of David. To be sure, it sounds like something Jeremiah would have said in reply to God (especially with the reference to birth). It’s also something we can sing to God when we are in a difficult situation: “For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength.”This song of hope continues, so listen closely to your Sunday psalmist!

A beautiful description I found online: “This is the prayer of the Aged Believer, who, in holy confidence of faith, strengthened by a long and remarkable experience, pleads against his enemies, and asks further blessings for himself. Anticipating a gracious reply, he promises to magnify the Lord exceedingly.”

2nd READING: 1 Cor 12:31, 13:1-13

BACKGROUND:
This is a common “wedding reading,” but I challenge us to look at it in a new light today.  Remember – Corinth was “The Big Apple” of the time, a place bustling with commerce and social and intellectual growth. Believers there had started to return to old ways. The Church was fracturing. The people were engaging in immoral behavior and had become careless in their treatment of the Eucharist. In sum, they were acting very selfish. The reading aims to unravel their selfishness by talking on Love. Today’s reading is the centerpiece of Paul’s teaching on spiritual gifts.
READING:
Last week’s reading comes immediately prior to the start of today’s. It begins, “And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but have not love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.”  The point throughout is, without authentic love, our actions are loud, pointless, and noisy. Actions are not wholly pleasing to God unless LOVE is at the heart of them.  We know God = Love. SO, read another way, actions are not wholly pleasing to God unless HE is at the heart of them.

“These three remain, Faith, Hope, and Love.” I heard an interesting reflection on this. In Heaven, Faith and Hope don’t really exist as on Earth. In Heaven we will be in the presence of God our Father. As such, Faith and Hope are realized by our being there. But Love? It remains, because God IS Love. And in Heaven, we abide with Love and praise God without ceasing.

GOSPEL – Luke 4:21-30

BACKGROUND:
Each gospel writer starts his gospel with a different event to begin Jesus’ public ministry. Matthew, the “teaching gospel,” starts with The Sermon on the Mount. In Mark, it’s Jesus casting out a demon (a key Markan theme is “the spiritual battle”). John begins with the wedding at Cana. In Luke, today’s gospel reading is the start of His public ministry. Jesus preaches in the synagogue and is not welcome in his own native place.

READING:
Jesus uses two significant OT prophets, Elisha and Elijah, to make this point: OT Prophets didn’t just heal God’s people (the Israelites), prophets also went to the outsiders and the forgotten – even to enemies – to heal them and bring them into the fold.
– Elijah went to a widow (an outsider) and healed her.
– Elisha went to Naaman the Syrian and performed healing works.
In other words, God’s love and grace is for all of His children. He wants to bring every stray child back into His fold. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”

Throughout the gospels, we often see Christ evade death. This is so he can fulfill his purpose and go to the Cross. People in the synagogue try to stone him and throw him over a cliff, but He “passed through the midst of them and went away.” Imagining some cool special effects, I picture Him fading away in the distance. Efforts to hurt Him completely fail. He just walks away. A miraculous move indeed. If only, when faced with “buffets and spitting”,  could do the same. With God’s strength and His voice in our mouths, we can. “Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.”

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1.24.2016: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Greetings and Welcome!
Resources for today:
Please view this Sunday’s readings by clicking here.
The One-Page Bible Timeline  is available here.
Fun Fact:
Today’s psalm response (that we sing), is not from the book of Psalms, nor from any of the books of Wisdom. It’s from John 6:63.

First Reading: NEHEMIAH 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10

BACKGROUND 
Nehemiah’s best friend was Ezra, who is also a prophet and has his own prophetic book. These 2 books center on the return of God’s people and  their joy. So who were they, and where in the bible are we? Click on the bible timeline above and look at the title labeled “Return.” Remember how the Israelites turned from God and were then exiled out of their land? (This happened twice, once by the Assyrians and later by the Babylonians.) In previous weeks, we heard Isaiah tell the people that in time, their light would come, in time, they would be called by a new name (“Epoused,” “My Delight”). Well guess what? Now we’re at that time! The people have returned to their homeland – to which they are “espoused,” and this is cause for great rejoicing – “Delight!” Each figure has a job: Ezra, Nehemiah, and the People.
  • Ezra is the priest. His job is to rebuild the people’s spiritual health. He re-teaches them how to worship rightly.
  • Nehemiah is like the Site Manager on a major construction site. His job is to rebuild the actual city – to physically rebuild the temple walls.
  • The People are having  their biggest “a-ha” moment in all of Israel’s history. They’ve “seen the light” – they’ve come to terms with their past sinfulness. They vow to turn back toward God’s grace. They realize they are a people of worship. It can be considered a precursor to the New Testament story of the Prodigal Son.  The people are returning to their loving God and Father, crying tears of repentance. Their hearts are less hearts of stone, and more hearts of flesh.
READING
In the reading, Ezra reads the scroll (the law) to the people. Just as the deacon or priest stand up higher in front of the assembly to read God’s word, Ezra “stood on a wooden platform that had been made … he opened the scroll so that all might see it, and as he opened it, all the people rose.” Then he read plainly from the book of the law of God, “interpreting it so that all could understand what was read” (the homily). “There was great joy that day in the assembly and the people were encouraged to ‘go, eat rich foods and sweet drinks!'” This is the basis of feast days – when we celebrate with a great feast!

Responsorial Psalm (19):
Response – “Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)

The verses of psalm 19 reflect beautifully what the people might have said or thought as they heard Ezra read God’s law for the first time in generations. At mass, we “answer” the psalm with words from John chapter 6, which echo the feeling of the people. If we were in the audience listening to Ezra, hearing God’s word after a time of  silence and despair, I think we would consider the words in the scroll to be spirit and life indeed!
Let us all grab hold of the last line in the psalmists’ prayer, underlined below. Let it guide us this week. Now, picture the people in Ezra’s audience saying:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom  to the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

 2nd Reading: 1 COR 12:18-30

BACKGROUND
This reading is similar to last week’s 2nd reading, so it will sound familiar (we have many gifts but the same Spirit). Paul stayed in Corinth longer than any other city. Corinth was the cosmopolitan center – the  Big Apple of the Christian world – politically, economically and socially. The letter is thought to be written 5 years after he founded the Church in Corinth. The people struggled to stay united as they faced vices and heresies that threatened to fracture the foundation Paul built. He was deeply troubled by the condition of the Church and wrote this letter to provide instruction and spiritual direction until he could arrive in person.
READING
We’re familiar with this reading (one body made of many parts). It is a metaphor for the Church yes, but how can we think more deeply about this reality?
Paul posits that small body parts are not insignificant – think eyes (sight) or ear (hear), heart valve (life) or ovary, (potential life). Each part, no matter its size, plays a vital role. The same is true for us as people, and also our actions.  None of us are too small to make an impact. No act is too small to help the Church grow or thrive. We all matter. God’s love for each of His children knows no bounds. And what amazes and bewilders me when I stop on this thought, is how God put us each here for a reason. A very specific one. Inside each of us lies a “brick” that will build the kingdom of Heaven in a way only God can design. Much like Nehemiah was the Site Manager to rebuild the city, Christ is our builder, our creator.

St. Therese of Lisieux lived this beautifully, believing, “If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

To God, “littleness” does not mean “insignificance.” That idea is a human construct. The Lord needs our littleness to complete His glorious kingdom! May we never forget that every small act, every kind utterance, every tiny sacrifice known only to God, MATTERS.

GOSPEL: Luke 1: 1-4, 4:14-21

BACKGROUND
As you may know, Luke is not an apostle – not an eye-witness to Jesus’ miracles or his passion and death. He was, however, the right-hand man of the apostle Paul, his scribe. In his gospel, we see Jesus through Paul’s eyes. Consequently, Luke has something to prove to his audience- that he knew his stuff. That is the reason for verses 1-4 where he sets the stage and strengthens his credibility.
READING
Here we are with scrolls again! I love it when the connection is so clear. Remember when Nehemiah wrote about Ezra proclaiming the law? How he had found the scroll which had been lost for generations? Here Jesus takes out the scroll and draws the connection to Isaiah 58:6. Isaiah prophesied that God would eventually free them from the bondage of Babylonian slavery. In the gospel, Jesus promises, through his eventual death on the cross, though he does not refer to it directly here, to free the people from their current oppressors (the Romans). If you were in the audience and heard Jesus say these words, don’t you think you’d be able to hear a pin drop?
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Let us go forward this week thinking on the themes of “Scroll” and “We are all One Body.” Do you need to return to the scroll – to God’s law – more perfectly? Is there something or someone you’re wrestling with that God could help you understand? He’s ready to walk with you. What part of the Body are you? Forget about size…what is God calling you to be for His kingdom? You are a critical piece to His masterpiece. Consider carrying out one act that will build up the Body of Christ this week.
Until next time!

 

1.17.16: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome back! I hope you all had a blessed week.

Resources for today:
Please view this Sunday’s readings by clicking here.
The One-Page Bible Timeline  is available here.

Fun Fact: The Baptism of the Lord (last Sunday) is a “both/and” day. It is both the last day of the Christmas season and the first Sunday in Ordinary Time. As a result, here we are in the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Why does the Church use the term “Ordinary?” It doesn’t mean “ordinary” as in – “regular” or “without excitement.”  At its root is the term “Ordinal” or “Order” – as in, going about the year in an orderly fashion of first, second, third, all the way to thirty-third. Now the liturgical color is green, signifying a time of growth in the Church (vs. penance during Lent or Advent, and vs. celebration during Christmas, Easter, or other feast days).

Let’s jump in!

First Reading: Isaiah 62: 1-5 

It helps to know that the book of Isaiah is broken into 2 major parts: 1) The Book of Judgement (ch 1-39: the people have turned their back on God and Judgement will come) and 2) The Book of Consolation (ch 40-66: God will restore them eventually, and never abandon them.).  Despite the people’s stubborn nature, God consistently shows His parental nature, correcting His children repeatedly.  Yes, he allows hardship for them, but always for the sake of restoring them to Him. He never abandons them. He loves them unconditionally. In the same way, when we encounter hardship, we must Trust in His ways, recalling that He will never abandon us either.

We’re in chapter 62 this Sunday – a joyful part of Isaiah’s book of consolation. Isaiah is so filled with joy that he cannot be silent! Despite the darkness the people are in at Isaiah’s writing (we’re around 800-700 B.C. and the Assyrians are knocking on their door, about to conquer and exile them), God will eventually do some truly great things for His people and lead them back to their land, land which God promised them in the covenant with Abraham.

Think for a moment about your name. What is your birth name? Your maiden name? Your Confirmation name? Your married name? When do we receive new names? During life’s big changes when we experience personal re-birth, or re-dedication – either to the Lord (at baptism, confirmation, entering religious life) or to your spouse (women taking on a new last name).

Did you notice Isaiah had some issues with his ‘caps lock’ key? He capitalized words like “Forsaken”, “Desolate”, “My Delight” and “Espoused.” These are “before and after” names for God’s people Israel. What we see here is that God comes, He re-names His people.  God will re-name His people. He will bring them out of the old ways of slavery and sin (when they were “Forsaken” and “Desolate”) and into new life. For the people in Isaiah’s time this means they’ll eventually return to their land; for us it means that through Christ, we are reborn in baptism and referred to as “My Delight” and “Espoused.”

Responsorial: Psalm 96

Response: “Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.” The theme here is prophecy, as in the verb “to prophecy”, which is translated literally as “The act of interpreting divine will or purpose.” This is what the prophets of old did, and it is what we are called to do as well. How do you interpret God’s will in your life? Are you a good listener? Do you spend time in the classroom of silence to truly put your own will and desires aside to hear His will and desire for you? He speaks in the silence. He speaks through people and events. He’s always speaking; but how well do we listen? The psalm calls us to proclaim his marvelous deeds to the ends of the earth, to all the nations.

How exactly are we supposed to proclaim these marvelous deeds? Paul has some words of wisdom for us in the next reading, a guidebook if you will…

 Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 12: 4-11

Paul tells the Corinthians – and us – to prophecy by using our spiritual gifts.  “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” (Paul specifically mentions “the gift of prophesy”). This is how we proclaim His marvelous deeds.

What are your spiritual gifts? Are you a good friend?  Maybe you’re a great cook, or pianist, or artist. Do you bring joy wherever you go? How do you live your faith? In what ways do you set a good example to others? Sometimes the greatest witness can be to simply “know thyself.” That is, figure out what your gifts are and spend your life honing and using them for the glory of God. When you know a person and they’re doing what God calls them to do, isn’t that obvious? It’s refreshing. It encourages others to seek out the inherent joy these people experience every day.  God has so much planned for us. He’s given each of us special and intentional gifts. This Lent, enter into prayer to discover His plan for your gifts.  Think you’re using them pretty darn well? Not sure what to do now? Tell God you need a kick in the rear to reach higher for Him. He will show you the way.

Gospel: John 2: 1-11

We’re in Year C, Luke’s gospel, but we hear from John this week. The Church chose to start us off in ordinary time in a beautiful way – with Jesus’ first public miracle at the wedding at Cana. This story is only recorded in John’s gospel. Next week, we’re back to Luke.

This gospel is packed with meaning and connections. It can be dissected in myriad ways, from the fact that Jesus performed this miracle at a wedding feast (we refer to Mass as a wedding feast), to the numerology hidden in the six jars, to the meaning in the materials Jesus uses here,turning water into wine, both of which will pour from His side at the cross (Eucharistic blood is consecrated from wine). But today, let’s stick with the conversation between Mary and Jesus.

In those days, weddings were numerous days long and filled with much celebration. To run out of wine was no small issue, but an embarrassing concern for the couple and the family as a whole. Some scholars note that Mary’s concern for the situation may indicate that she is a relative of the wedding party. She goes to Jesus and says, “They have no wine.”

Let’s pause here. I heard a beautiful commentary on this. Mary knows what her son can do. She knows He has not yet performed any public miracles, but like a good mother who knows her son in a unique and intimate way, she nudges him. Notice she doesn’t go on and on about why there is no wine. She doesn’t give reasons, place blame, or offer suggestions on how to fix the problem (don’t we sometimes approach prayer requests like this?). She simply states a fact: They have no wine.

In this small act, Mary is a model for us in our prayer. First, she has utter and complete faith in her Son, that He will deliver. Second, she serves as an intercessor for the wedding couple by taking their wishes to Jesus, just like she takes our prayers to Jesus, with full faith that He will deliver. So next time you have a need, consider asking with the kind of faith Mary displayed here, (and ask Mary to take your prayers to Him).

“Jesus, my child is very sick.”
“Jesus, I lost my job.”
“Jesus, I’ve shattered a relationship.”
“Jesus, I’ve lost faith in our world.”
“Jesus, I’m afraid to hear the test results.”

All our hopes, fears, and dreams are already contained in these few words. Can you and should you pour out more to Him? By all means. But never think you must be verbose. Especially during times when we are drained of all energy and maybe even the desire to pray, we can at least tell Him as Mary did: “Jesus, I have no wine.”

This conversation between Mary and Jesus is also the fulfillment of an Old Testament story. As noted in the Ignatian Study bible, “Genesis 3 is the reverse image of the story of the Wedding at Cana. As Eve prompted Adam to defy the Lord and drag the human family into sin and death, so Mary, the new Eve, prompts Jesus, the new Adam, to initiate His mission of salvation.”  I invite you to sit with this statement, to think and pray on this beautiful reality.

Lastly, in John 2: 5, Mary tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” These are the final words of Mary in the New Testament. She commands the servants in the story – and we in the world – to follow Him, and do whatever He tells us. Those are some powerful “last words.”

So…what is Jesus telling you?

1.10.16: The Baptism of the Lord

Welcome to the first post of Banquet of the Word!

This blog is designed to help you get the most out of the upcoming Sunday and Holy Day readings. A mixture of history, context, and inspiration, I pray it will lead you closer to God in The Word. Please note the timeline posted here 1.page.bible.timeline. This tool allows you to get a glimpse of Salvation History in just one page. Refer to it weekly to deepen your understanding of scripture.

If you have limited scriptural knowledge, Be Not Afraid. Scripture is God’s voice; in It, He speaks to you personally. But believe me, I recognize how intimidating the Bible can be – in its length, the numerous styles in which it’s written, and the messages therein. This is why I find it works well to explore scripture through the Sunday readings, one week at a time. So stay with it! The “Commandment” of this blog is “Thou Shalt Not Get Discouraged!”

Fun fact: This week we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord, the official end of the Christmas Season (According to the liturgical calendar, Ordinary Time doesn’t officially begin until the Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on the Sunday after Epiphany.)

Let’s dive in!
Access this week’s readings by clicking HERE

1ST READING (IS 42: 1-4, 6-7)

Isaiah is a prophet with whom we’re all familiar, even if just by name. In terms of length, Isaiah takes the cake for the Old Testament prophets at a total of 66 chapters. It is often called “The Fifth Gospel” because it bears witness to Christ unparalleled by any book in the OT. He prophesied for close to 79 years, during what is arguably the worst time in Israel’s history. Put simply, the people have turned their back on God in a serious way, for a seriously long time (think idol worship, really bad-behaving kings, and exile). But God gave Isaiah a message to share: Despite the deep darkness in which Israel found themselves, a great light would come.

For Isaiah, the vision of God’s majesty was so overwhelming that military and political power faded in significance. He constantly called his people back to reliance on God’s promises and away from vain attempts to find security in human plans and intrigues.  Isaiah is known for his 4 “servant songs.” This verbiage resurfaces in the New Testament (and in today’s Gospel). Isaiah writes to a people who are familiar with kings being anointed in their land at huge ceremonies. They would have heard this kind of language at one of those ceremonies – for example, when David anointed Solomon. In speaking to them in this familiar style, his message is more likely to stick.

As you hear this reading at mass, take note that what Jesus does when He comes to live among us in human form – fulfills the prophecy we hear from Isaiah.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM (29)

“The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

The psalm is always a response to the first reading. Today’s response assures us that though the people are in darkness, the Lord will bless His people with peace. Interestingly, He doesn’t promise to bless the times and seasons  with peace (look at all the unrest around us today and throughout history), but he will bless His people with peace – peace in their hearts despite what’s happening around them. Take comfort in Christ our Savior. True peace will be achieved at the Second Coming. Until then, be a people of peace, a light to the nations.

2nd READING: ACTS 10: 34-38

Usually in the 2nd reading, we hear from one of the Pastoral Letters (Paul or Peter). In this pivotal scene from Acts, Peter, the Rock on whom Christ built the Church, the first Pope, makes a striking announcement to the people – and to us. Salvation through Christ – which comes through baptism –  is not just available to Jews, but also to the Gentiles! This was a shocking discovery. Let’s pause and consider why this is.

Up until this point, the people who believed Christ was the Messiah were elated to know that all the prophecies of old were now fulfilled. The Messiah had come! But it’s a sticky moment in Church history to a degree. Everyone who was looking forward to the coming of the Messiah – including the Apostles and Jesus himself – were Jewish. So to them, their Messiah had come, the answer promised to them for generations was here. But they didn’t really understand that this was  now a New Covenant – this would mean a “new faith” (Christianity) – new practices, new teachings. The concept of a “new faith” or “a new Church” was not yet established. Many of Paul’s letters are written to clarify these complex, generations-old traditions: “Do we still need to be circumcised? Can we eat ‘unclean’ foods? What are the new rules?”  If I were Peter or Paul, charged with that task, I can only imagine the reliance I would need to put on my prayer life and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Back to the reading: So who’s Cornelius? He’s a Roman Centurian – a Gentile. In the reading, Peter preaches the Gospel to Cornelius and other gentiles for the first time.   Here’s where it gets cool. After preaching the gospel (keep reading in Acts 10), Peter sees the gentiles experience the same things that had happened at Pentecost – like speaking in tongues – and he recognizes this as a “second Pentecost.” Peter proceeds to baptize this group of men. This is Peter’s “a-ha” moment: He knows with certainty that God wants ALL people to receive salvation through His Church, beginning with baptism. From this point forward, Peter takes this message out to the world begins to preach to all people.

GOSPEL (LK 3:15-16, 21-22)

The prophets of old said “Before the Messiah comes, look for Elijah.” John the Baptist is acting like “the new Elijah” – who leads the way to Jesus.  John brought words of power to the people to whom he preached, and the people thought he might be the Christ.In the reading, the people are baptized, and Jesus goes last. Jesus puts His people before Him.

Why is Jesus baptized if He’s God? I like this explanation from Catholic Online:

“The Word Incarnate stands in the waters of the earth which was created through Him, and begins the re-creation of everything. Into these waters, through which the people of Israel were once delivered, the entire human race is now invited to follow Jesus. What was once the means of God’s judgment and purification at the time of Noah, now fills the Baptismal font where men and women are delivered from sin and made new.”

At this moment, for the first time, we see all three persons of God present simultaneously: Jesus is there, the Holy Spirit descends on Him like a Dove, and the voice of God the Father is heard from above quoting the servant song of Isaiah 42: “You are my beloved Son, with You I am well pleased.”

May God bless your week!