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Sunday, January 13, 2002

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Psalm 29
Matthew 3:13-17

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"After Jesus was baptized, He came directly out of the water. Suddenly the sky opened." —Matthew 3:16

Jesus was thirty years old (Lk 3:23) when He was baptized in the River Jordan. Jesus is what we would call a slow starter. His life was thirty years in the making, and He hadn't even left home. He hadn't preached, taught, gathered disciples, or done great works. He was unknown and seemed to have hardly begun to fulfill the Father's plan for His life.

Then Jesus came to the Jordan River and was baptized by John. "Suddenly the sky opened and He saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and hover over Him. With that, a voice from the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son. My favor rests on Him' " (Mt 3:16-17). After being on the launching pad for thirty years, Jesus took off like a rocket. He was burning to light a fire on the earth (Lk 12:49). Jesus exploded into the three greatest years of ministry in history. He ran even to His death on Calvary and His resurrection from the dead.

God the Father has a great plan for you, His beloved son or daughter. Are you still on the launching pad? Are you dawdling? On this last day of Christmas, renew your Baptism; hear your Father's voice speaking of His love for you; explode into a year of grace; fulfill the Father's plan for your life.

Prayer:  Father, speak to me. Affirm Your love for me again and again.

Promise:  "God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good works and healing all who were in the grip of the devil, and God was with Him." —Acts 10:38

Praise:  "The voice of the Lord is mighty; the voice of the Lord is majestic" (Ps 29:4). "In His temple all say, 'Glory!' " (Ps 29:9)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001