Lectionary Reflections: The Baptism of Jesus [c] January 10, 2016

Engaging Faith | Mon, Jan 4, 2016

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

The Baptism of Jesus [c]

January 10, 2016


Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7 or Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

Acts 10:34-38 or Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22



January 3-9: National Migration Week

January 11: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

January 18: Martin Luther King Day observed



We must reject the temptation to offer a privatized and individualistic spirituality.

-John Paul II, Novo Millennio Inuente, 52

Rising from the waters of the Baptismal font, every Christian hears again the voice that was once heard on the banks of the Jordan River: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

-John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 11

…  since Baptism is a true entry into the holiness of God through incorporation into Christ and the indwelling of his Spirit, it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity. To ask catechumens: "Do you wish to receive Baptism?" means at the same time to ask them: "Do you wish to become holy?" It means to set   before them the radical nature of the Sermon on the Mount: "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). 

-John Paul II, Novo Millennio Inuente, 31

In the Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, John Paul II warned of the need to “abandon a mentality in which the poor – as individuals and as peoples – are considered a burden, as irksome intruders trying to consume what others have produced.” 

-Benedict XVI, 2009 Message for the World Day of Peace

Seeing creation as God’s gift to humanity helps us understand our vocation and worth as human beings. 

-Pope Benedict XVI, 2010 Message for World Day of Peace

Sadly, war and terrorism, accompanied by kidnapping, ethnic or religious persecution and the misuse of power, marked the past year from start to finish. In many parts of the world, these have become so common as to constitute a real “third world war fought piecemeal”. Yet some events of the year now ending inspire me, in looking ahead to the new year, to encourage everyone not to lose hope in our human ability to conquer evil and to combat resignation and indifference. They demonstrate our capacity to show solidarity and to rise above self-interest, apathy and indifference in the face of critical situations.

-Pope Francis, 2016 Message for the World Day of Peace

Mercy is the heart of God. 

-Pope Francis, 2016 Message for the World Day of Peace


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Jesus is baptized by John. The Spirit descends upon Jesus.  The voice calls Jesus “beloved.”  As the voice of God proclaims Jesus to be the “beloved,” we can hear God affirming that same wonderful reality to all of us human creatures. There is a wonderful dignity in the life of every human person. This human dignity is at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching.  All of creation shares in this dignity as well.

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, SJ, as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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