Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, Jesus ... was baptized, my beloved Son
Connecting the Gospel …
To the point: After Jesus was “baptized in the Jordan by John,” he took up his saving mission as the “beloved Son.” We are baptized by both water and the Spirit, beginning a life of turning from our thoughts and ways to God’s thoughts and ways (first reading), becoming God’s children (second reading), and continuing Jesus’ ministry. Baptism is not so much what is done to us as what we do because of our new relationship with God and each other.
… to the Christmas Season: Our celebration of Christmas does not end with the infant Jesus, but with the adult Jesus being baptized and beginning his saving mission. We who have been baptized with his Spirit take up his work of salvation during Ordinary Time, continuing his mission of bringing the Good News to others.
… to experience: culture:We tend to think of baptism only as a ritual lasting a few moments. Actually, baptism is a daily immersion in the mission of Jesus and requires lifelong commitment.