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Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 10, 2016 - Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

January 10, 2016
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

“Anointed with the Holy Spirit and Power”

Actually ang post na ito ay kinuha ko na lang mula sa nauna kong post noong January 13, 2013 dahil nga pareho lang naman ang readings nila. Paulit-ulit lang naman siya.

Ako po’y lubusang nagpapasalamat sa inyong walang sawang pagsunod sa blog na ito kahit na hindi ko na masyadong naa-update simula nang pumasok ako ng seminary.

Baka sa mga susunod na linggo ay ilalabas ko ang aking libro dito na pinamagatan kong “My Food, My Strength” (Selected Text from the Bible for Different Spiritual and Emotional Needs)… I need your help to promote it para na rin sa aking bokasyon dahil lilipat na nga po ako ng Diocese sa susunod na taon dahil hindi po ako recommended for novitiate sa SVD because of my turbulent family background. Sana po ay matulungan ninyo ako sa pabor kong hinihingi sa inyo…

1.     Lungsod nga Balaan
2.     Kon Magkatigum Ta
3.     Saulogon ta Karon
4.     Sa Hapag ng Panginoon
5.     Purihi’t Pasalamatan
6.     Isang Pananampalataya
7.     Come with Praise (Schutte)
8.     Water of Life (Haas)
9.     Table of Plenty

First Reading                                  Is 42:1-4, 6-7
Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as 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.
Or Is 40:1-5, 9-11
Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
the rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Go up on to a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by a strong arm;
here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.
Responsorial Psalm                     Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10.
R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Or Ps 104:1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30
R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul.
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
you are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
You have spread out the heavens like a tent-cloth;
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
You have constructed your palace upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot;
you travel on the wings of the wind.
You make the winds your messengers,
and flaming fire your ministers.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures;
the sea also, great and wide,
in which are schools without number
of living things both small and great.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
They look to you to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
If you take away their breath, they perish and return to the dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
Second Reading                                Acts 10:34-38
Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered
in the house of Cornelius, saying:
“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
is acceptable to him.
You know the word that he sent to the Israelites
as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,
what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.”
Or Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7
The grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God
and savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

When the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
He saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Gospel                                 LK 3:15-16, 21-22
The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”
Homily or Reflection of the Readings:
My brothers and sisters in Christ, today's First Reading from the Book of Isaiah consisted of a prophecy related to the coming of the promised Messiah. The Reading from the Gospel of Luke announced that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, this was the event that marked the official beginning of the Lord's ministry on earth as Christ the Redeemer.

The First Reading consisted of God speaking to His people through the prophet Isaiah. In those days, God's chosen people were coming out of captivity. Jerusalem was in shambles. [Is. 49:17, 51:17] The Jewish people had endured great suffering.

The Lord God told Isaiah to comfort His people, to speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and to cry out to her that she had served her term that her penalty was paid, that she had received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

The repetition of the word "comfort" echoes a tone of mercy. God was about to show mercy towards His people. To speak tenderly meant to speak to the heart. This was a delicate expression of Divine love that God was manifesting towards His people. During the past centuries, the people had turned away from God. As such, they had been punished. They paid double for their sins. While some may view such a punishment as being very severe, it should not be perceived as Divine anger but as a time of purification. God sanctified a people unto Himself. Now, a new era was on the horizon, a time of joy and peace, the glorious moment when God's people would be redeemed.

Then the Lord said, "A voice cries out: 'In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.'" A voice crying out echoes a new exodus. The Lord Himself was about to lead the new exodus. He was about to take His people out of Babylon, through the desert, and back to Palestine.

The words, "in the wilderness prepare the way" introduces one of the richest terms found in the Holy Bible. The "Way" is a manner of life, for men and for God. There can be two ways, either good or evil. [Mt. 7:13-4] John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness to prepare "the way of the Lord." [Mk. 1:3] Jesus declared that He Himself was that Way. [Jn. 14:6, Heb. 10:20] Christianity itself is called "the Way." [Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23]

Through this prophecy, Jerusalem was highly glorified. It was hailed as the home of God on earth and the center of world redemption. The pre-exilic days of sensuousness and hypocrisy were finally coming to an end.

Jerusalem, synonym of Zion, was called the herald of glad tidings. It was proclaimed, "Here is your God!" In these prophetic words, Isaiah was not suggesting a human king of the lineage of king David but rather a Divine King, Yahweh Himself.

Among those words, there was a sudden change, from "king" to "shepherd." In other parts of the Old Testament, we find that the words "king" and "shepherd" are synonymous of each other. [2 Sam. 5:2; Jer. 3:15] Now, the prophet Isaiah reveals God as a shepherd- king who draws His people unto Himself and who even carries them. [Jer. 31:10; Ezek. 34:11-6; Ps. 23]

The Reading from today's Gospel of Luke presented John the Baptist's Messianic preaching. In the psychological setting, we can perceive that the people were expecting the arrival of the promised Messiah at any time. In their hearts, they wondered, "Is He the one that we are waiting for?"

Knowing their hearts, John the Baptist answered, "But one who is more powerful than I is coming." The words "one who is more powerful" echoed Jesus the great liberator in the war against Satan. The words "more powerful" or "mighty" was frequently used in the Holy Scriptures to describe the leader of the final struggle against evil. [Mk. 3:27; Lk. 11:20-2; Rev. 18:8]

In this particular passage, a great importance was given to the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Holy Bible, many amazing manifestations were credited to the presence of the Spirit, as the life and power of God. Such is seen in the creation [Gen. 1:2] and the warriors. [Judges 3:10, 11:29, 1 Sam. 11:6] But now, the Holy Spirit is identified as a separate Divine Presence in the Blessed Trinity. While the voice of the Heavenly Father was heard from Heaven, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in bodily form like a dove.

When John the Baptist stated that the believers would be baptized with fire, such is associated with sanctification and salvation. Fire represents a sanctifying action. At the same time, in Scripture, fire is very often associated with the presence of the Saviour-God. God will sanctify His people as through refining fire so they may be made righteous in His eyes to inherit the eternal salvation of the children of God.

When we hear that "all the people were baptized," we perceive a new episode, a whole community advancing towards the new and most joyful promised land, the spiritual Kingdom of God on earth. So great was the Divine Presence of God in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that all the people were touched, repented of their sins and were baptized. There was no space left for doubters.

The voice of God from Heaven echoes the Heavenly Father's desire and determination to save His people. Through the Words, "You are my Son." the Heavenly Father confesses the Divinity of Jesus. Jesus is God incarnated in human form.

It should be noted that Jesus did not get baptized because He needed to repent of His sins. Being God, He was without sin! Why then was He baptized? Because from the moment of His birth to the moment when He began His ministry on earth, Jesus completely submitted Himself in obedience to the customs of His people. By submitting Himself to the Baptism of John the Baptist, He placed His seal of approval that we all need to repent of our sins.

But there was more to it then could be perceived at that time. Jesus' example of being baptized was to tell us that the Sacrament of Baptism is the Way to the new life, to being born again of water and spirit. As Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." [Jn. 3:5]

My brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus is the Way, and the truth and the life. [Jn. 14:6] As John the Baptist was commissioned to prepare the Way of the Lord, we as baptized and confirmed Christians have been called by God and sent by our Bishop to preach the Good News to all those with who we come in contact during our life. For the glory of God, our commission obligates us to show the Way to those who have yet to find the Lord Jesus in their lives. For the glory of God, our commission obligates us to show the Way of the Lord to those who have shipwrecked in their faith.

This week, let us reflect upon our actions. Have we prepared the Way of the Lord so all humanity may share in the blessed hope of the eternal joy and peace that awaits the righteous children of God who have lived their faith in Christ?
1.     Mugna sa Dios
2.     Palihug Dawata Ginoo
3.     Unang Alay
4.     Paghahandog ng Sarili
5.     Prayer of Rupert Mayer

1.     O Espiritu Santo
2.     Kini Maong Akong Lawas
3.     Tubig ng Buhay
4.     Awit ng Paghahangad
5.     Huwag kang Mangamba
6.     As Water to the Thirsty
7.     I Seek You for I Thirst

1.     Ang Tawag
2.     Humayo na’t Ipahayag
3.     Any song from entrance na hindi nakanta

Have a blessed week everyone J

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