Arulvakku

09.01.2022 — Unworthy Gift of Baptism

Posted under Reflections on January 9th, 2022 by

Baptism of the Lord, Sunday – 09th January 2022 — Gospel: Luke 3,15-16.21-22

Unworthy Gift of Baptism

Jesus began his public ministry after his Baptism. Luke places this event at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, in order to state that all that He will do here after will be through the empowerment, blessing and approval of His Father. The opening of heaven signals that Jesus is the Messiah and that the fulfillment of Israel’s eschatological expectations is at hand. If the closing of heaven brought drought, the opening of heaven brings God’s blessings. By submitting to God’s grace and Holy Spirit, Jesus finds his identity and the affirmation from the Father. Jesus often made choices in his ministry that illuminated a path for his followers. His decision to be baptized points to the beauty and necessity of our own Baptism. The fact that the man baptizing him claimed to be unworthy reminds us that none of us, whether priest or laity, is worthy. As St.Paul says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom 8,23). We need to have our faith in God, not in those, sometimes imperfect, messengers.

C.S.Lewis, in his book ‘The Screwtape Letters’, depicted a senior devil advising his protegee that the best time to distract a Christian is when he is at worship. He advised the junior devil to fill the mind of the Christian with judgmental thoughts about the priest and his fellow worshippers. Truly, the enemy of our souls would love to pull us away from the need for Baptism and the other sacraments by distracting us with negative thoughts about a particular priest or the church in general. But Jesus powerfully reminds us by his own Baptism to keep our eyes on God and his gifts of the sacraments. We see, John the Baptist, a privileged person to administer sacraments to the Lord, acknowledged his own unworthiness. The importance of this moment was reinforced by an audible voice from heaven proclaiming, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

08.01.2022 — Everything from God

Posted under Reflections on January 8th, 2022 by

Saturday after Epiphany – 08th January 2022 — Gospel:  Jn 3,22-30

Everything from God

John the Baptist is confronted with the fact that Jesus is attracting many followers. Probably, this meant that Jesus was gaining more popularity than Baptist or many were leaving the Baptist to follow Jesus Instead. Rather than becoming jealous, upset, or angry, John the Baptist has the right approach, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.” This is a tremendously important principle that rules over everything in our lives. Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we will be is a gratuitous gift from God. John the Baptist makes it clear that Christ was his mission, and seeing him succeed makes John really happy. Rather than being selfish about our own growth, we should be happy when others’ efforts bring people closer to God.

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