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Sunday, January 20, 2002

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2nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
Psalm 40
John 1:29-34

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baptized in the spirit

"When you see the Spirit descend and rest on Someone, it is He Who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit." —John 1:33

Last week we concluded the Christmas season by celebrating the Baptism of Jesus. As the Church begins the Easter season by calling us to renew our baptismal promises, so the Church concludes the Christmas season by focusing on Baptism.

In the afterglow of the Christmas season, we continue to think of Baptism. In today's Gospel reading, we hear John the Baptizer announcing that Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit (Jn 1:33). In this way, He gives us a new nature and "takes away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29). Through Baptism, we are adopted as God's sons and daughters. Therefore, we are brothers and sisters of all those baptized into Christ. We are holy (see 1 Cor 1:2) because we have been baptized into the Holy One and have a share in His divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). In Baptism, we are in Christ and He in us. Jesus, the Light of the world, shines out through us and makes us "a light to the nations" (see Is 49:6).

There is much more that could be said about our baptismal identity. In this new year, let us grasp and live "the radical newness" of being baptized into Christ (Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10).

Prayer:  Father, may I live my baptismal life to the full.

Promise:  "You are My servant, He (the Lord) said to me, Israel, through whom I show My glory."—Is 49:3

Praise:  Praise Jesus, risen Lord and Baptizer in the Holy Spirit!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Baptism in the Holy Spirit, on video V-43 or audio AV 43-1.)

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