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.”
This Sunday marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. After the joyful celebrations and feasting of the last few weeks, we begin to return to normal. The Gospel reminds us that things are never quite normal. The message of Christmas, that God is with us, never ceases to be good news, even as we return to a more normal routine.
In fact, as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday we move from reflecting on the child Jesus to reflecting on Jesus as our great teacher and Lord. For the next seven and a half weeks (with a detour to hear from John the Baptist next week and another for the feast of the Presentation on February 2) we hear from Matthew as he presents Jesus’ extraordinary Sermon on the Mount.
These weeks form the core teaching of the beloved Son of God. They reveal the character and desires of the man who is God with us. There is nothing ordinary about being a disciple of Jesus. As we listen to the Gospel of Matthew in the upcoming weeks we will see Jesus as the divine teacher, whose teaching forms a rock upon which we can build our lives. The Beloved Son revealed in the Gospel today is our Master and Lord.
As our lives return to normal in the coming days (if they do), let’s keep our ears attentive to the voice of the Beloved Son. In His teaching, we discover what it means to have God with us.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood