OMELIE / Omelie EN

12 gen 2020
12/01/2020 – The Baptism of the Lord – A

12/01/2020 – The Baptism of the Lord – A

Reading 1 IS 42,1-4.6-7 * Psalm 28 * Reading 2 ACTS 10,34-38 * Gospel MT 3,13-17


During each Mass I give you many times the blessing: “The Lord be with you”, as it was given to Moses, David, Gideon, and to God's servants in charge of some special mission for the whole people. It was also given to Mary by the angel Gabriel, when he told her about the mission she had been assigned to by the Father. You too, in fact, during mass, will receive an important mission to accomplish towards the Kingdom of God. You will receive the task to carry Jesus in all the world you live in, to be light and salt of the earth, to envelope and soak in divine wisdom the places and the meetings you are in, and also to be united to those who today are offering themselves to the Lord. Nobody is able to fulfill this task in the world if they are not made new and filled with Holy Spirit. You then answer addressing me with the same blessing: “And with your Spirit”! I too, in fact, only with the Lord's grace can announce His word to you and offer you His Body and His Blood.

So Jesus, as we hear in today’s gospel, receives from the Father a Word which prepares Him for the mission for the whole people, a Word which reassures Him and reminds Him that His destiny is the one foretold by the prophets and awaited by the entire people. “This is my son”: a sentence which recalls the second psalm, a psalm which is clearly referred to the Messiah. “The beloved”, another word which reminds us of Abraham's son while he was climbing the mountain to sacrifice Him, and also Jahveh's Servant, as written by Isaiah in his book. “With whom I am well pleased”, third expression, still from Isaiah (first reading), who foretells the coming of the Spirit upon him. These are three very short expressions, summarising though the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. Jesus will bring to fulfillment all the Scriptures, so the Father’s love of which they are the prophecy.

And behold, truly the Spirit rests upon Him, showing itself in the shape of a dove: in this way it reminds of important events, as the creation and the first Covenant between God and men, represented by Noah. This is a very important moment: Jesus, God's Son, has lowered Himself under John's hands to receive from him the baptism of penance. When John became aware of this, he admitted he was not worth enough even to look like he is better than Him, but Jesus wanted to lower Himself, He wanted to dip Himself in that water which sinners have gone through to get rid of their sins, He wanted to be among them as the “the Servant of God”: this is His greatness. Jesus is not a sinner, He who is one with the Father, but He wants to carry the weight of that sin that is crushing men anyway. This is still said by the prophet Isaiah, and He is fully aware of this, so much so He answered John: “for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”. The righteousness Jesus fulfils is nothing but the Father’s will that “upon him was the punishment that made us whole” (53,5-6,11).

The baptism in the Jordan is an important moment for Jesus and the entire Church: it is the River crossed by the people when it entered the Promised Land, that is the border with the pagan countries, but also connects the latter to the land of God’s people. He puts Himself in the middle as a bridge between the former and the latter. What happens in the Jordan is for everyone, for the ones on this side and the ones on the other side: these waters are common ground to meet on.

Here Jesus starts showing Himself, and in this manifestation the Father and the Spirit take part. The Father gives His Word, reminding the Sacred Scriptures, and the Spirit, taking flight, as a dove above the waters, shows that it is really Him, immersed in the water under John's hand, to bring to fulfillment God's love for the people, for all peoples and for each man.

This event has made an impression in the disciples' mind, so much so that Peter talks about it when he preaches the gospel in Cornelius' home, a pagan centurion who wanted the apostle to stay in his house (second reading). Peter remembers it as the time in which God has anointed “Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power” so we could recognise Him as the Messiah, benefactor of mankind already ruined by the devil. “God was with him”, says the apostle. He is the Lord who is always with us with His divine power, with His love who wins every reason for us to be afraid or troubled. We will stick to Him, and we will enjoy salvation. He is really “God-with-us”!