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Holy Spirit’s help is there when we need it

Based on Is 55:1-11; 1 Jn 5:1-9; Mk 1:7-11

This Sunday’s readings echo God’s promise to love us and to help us grow in goodness.

In the Gospel, we make a big leap in time to hear about Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. It’s about 30 years after what we heard in last Sunday’s Gospel, when the Magi came to honor the Baby Jesus.

As Jesus came up from the water, the sky opened and the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove and hovered over Jesus. God the Father spoke to him, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Now that Jesus was baptized and received the Holy Spirit, he was ready to begin the work his Father had sent him to do – teaching about God’s love, healing the sick and disabled and forgiving people their sins. Through his actions, people would know he was the Son of God.

When we become part of a family or group, we are welcomed. One of the special times we are welcomed is at baptism when our lives are joined to Jesus, and the church welcomes us as new members.

In this sacrament, our souls are permanently stamped with the mark of the Holy Spirit – cleansing us of Original Sin and making us sons and daughters of God and members of the church.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ Father becomes our father and Jesus becomes our brother, and we become brothers or sisters to all other Christians in God’s family, the church.

Because of our baptism we, like Jesus, have work to do. Like Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in what we do.
What is that work? It’s to grow in love of God and neighbor and to continue to grow in our faith. Because the Holy Spirit lives within us, we can count on his help whenever we need it.

Say a thank-you prayer for God’s gift of your baptism.