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Sunday, January 11, 2004

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Psalm 29
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

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the last will be first

"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and in fire." —Luke 3:16

We end the Christmas season as we began the Easter season — by focusing on being baptized into Christ and on renewing our baptismal promises. We end the Christmas season as we end the Easter season — by focusing on the Holy Spirit. On this last day of Christmas, the Lord wants us to realize and live more deeply "the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit" (Ti 3:5).

When we renew our baptismal promises, we reject Satan, all His works, and all His empty promises because we believe in God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. By renewing and living our Baptisms, we sense the Holy Spirit crying out in our hearts "Abba" ("Father") (see Gal 4:6; Rm 8:15; see also Lk 3:22). This frees us to imitate Jesus in freeing those "in the grip of the devil" (Acts 10:38). Baptized into Jesus, we are "a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness" (Is 42:6-7). As we live our Baptisms more freely and fully, the Holy Spirit "establishes justice on the earth" (see Is 42:4) and renews "the face of the earth" (Ps 104:30).

On this last day of Christmas, "come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to me in such a way that I will receive all the Christmas graces.

Promise:   "Here is My Servant Whom I uphold, My Chosen One with Whom I am pleased, upon Whom I have put My Spirit." —Is 42:1

Praise:  Praise Jesus, beloved Son of the Father! Lord Jesus, baptize us in the Holy Spirit, that we may sing Your praises everywhere.

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

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003