Like Jesus, our mission is to proclaim God’s kingdom of love

Based on Is 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Mt 3:13-17

Today’s readings speak of the power of the Holy Spirit to give and generate life.

Isaiah describes a future servant designated by God to share in the deliverance and healing of God’s covenant people. Speaking through Isaiah, God calls the unnamed servant, “my chosen one with whom I am pleased.”

In Acts, Peter, at the home of the Gentile Cornelius, recognizes Jews and Gentiles are invited to follow Jesus. He briefly summarizes the Gospel and says God “anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.” Simply said, Jesus is the Messiah.

In the Gospel, Jesus, who doesn’t need to repent for or be forgiven for anything, approaches John the Baptist for baptism.

John says, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”

Jesus replies, “We will do things this way for it is right to follow my Father’s plan.”

Right there, Jesus took upon himself the guilt for all our sins. Jesus’ baptism by John was the first step in Jesus’ acceptance of his Father’s will and the cross leading to his death and Resurrection to bring about our redemption from sin and to gain everlasting life for us in heaven.

As Jesus came up from the water, the sky opened and the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove and hovered over him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus begins the work his Father sent him to do – proclaiming the Kingdom of God by teaching about God’s love, healing the sick and disabled and forgiving sins. Jesus is the servant described in the first reading but he’s more: he is “beloved Son.” He taught his apostles to carry on his work that we continue through his church.

Our baptism was also a beginning. Each of us became God’s beloved child. We were welcomed into the family of God, his church, and began our lives of faith.

We received a new life of grace through water and the Holy Spirit to begin our Christian mission – the same as Jesus’ mission – to proclaim God’s kingdom of love for all people by our words and actions.
Lord, open our hearts to your life-giving grace.