Monday, January 24, 2011

Luminous Mysteries: 1st, The Baptism of the LORD

Mathew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?"
Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

One lesson I have learned while meditating on the Baptism of the LORD is that sometimes we must accept a mission or job or task from GOD that we don't think we are up to or worthy to preform. You see how John says, "Oh no, I am not worthy to baptize you. If anything I need to be baptized by you."

At this point our LORD wanted to do something. We all know that Christ was without sin and therefore had no need to be baptized. After all, John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. But He came to be baptized anyway. Why? What was He doing? He was sanctifying the waters of baptism for us. He was establishing for us the Sacrament of Baptism. He was fulfilling an Old Testament prophesy.

John had an important part to play here. But he didn't think he was worthy. He didn't think that he was capable of the task GOD had for him to preform. He tried to get out of it. And then what? No baptism. If our LORD hadn't entered into this baptism, what would our own baptism be worth?

We see this in a other places throughout Scripture. Its always the same thing. GOD wants someone to do something. They don't think they are worthy or capable. They try to get out of it. The LORD in the end wins their obedience and they play an important part in GOD's plan of Salvation.

Take the profit Jeremiah. The LORD tells him that he will be a profit but Jeremiah replies that he is too young and doesn't know how to speak. The same thing can be seen with Moses. The LORD tells him that he will use him to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses replies that he can't go because he wouldn't know what to say and no one would listen to him anyway.

There are plenty of other examples of this throughout the Old and New Testament. The thing all of these people had in common was that GOD wanted them to preform a task to bring about His Will. They all felt that they were not worthy or capable of the task at hand. In each case GOD provided what they lacked. Of course John wasn't worthy to baptize the LORD. Who is? Moses didn't know what to say, GOD gave him the words. Jeremiah wasn't capable of being the LORD's profit. GOD provided what Jeremiah lacked. 

So one lesson I have learned from mediating on the first Luminous Mystery is that sometimes I have to dispense with my inclination to self doubt and when GOD assigns a task to me that I don't feel worthy or capable of doing I have to put my trust in Him that He will provide what I myself lack, that His Will might be accomplished.

1 comment:

togh said...

Well said! To open oneself to God's will is a scary thing and then to actually take on what God has given us to do can be a life changing event. I always find, though, that whatever it is God asks of me if I listen my life is smoother and even the hard task, with God's gifts of wisdom and courage, are one's with which I am peaceful.