The Promise of the Father

“Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan.” —Mark 1:9

At the Jordan River, God told Joshua: “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know I am with you” (Jos 3:7). Then Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River into the land of promise (Jos 3:14ff). Once in the promised land, the Israelites “ate their fill; when filled, they became proud of heart and forgot” God (Hos 13:6). In the same Jordan River, Jesus, the new Joshua, was baptized. When Jesus rose out of the waters of the Jordan, God exalted Him in the sight of all by testifying that Jesus is His beloved Son (Lk 3:21-22; 1 Jn 5:9). Jesus left the Jordan and walked into the same promised land as Joshua had earlier, inviting us to a fresh start and a new baptismal fullness. In this land of promise, Jesus tells us: “I send down upon you the promise of My Father” (Lk 24:49), life in the Holy Spirit. Jesus baptizes us into God’s family that we “might become sharers of the divine nature” (2 Pt 1:4). He lavishes the Spirit on us (Ti 3:6; Jn 3:34) to give us abundant life (Jn 10:10; Is 55:2-3). On this last day of the Christmas season, promise the Lord that you won’t become proud and forget Him as did the Israelites. Keep your promise by letting Jesus “baptize you in the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1:8). Each day, “seek the Lord” and “listen to” Jesus (Is 55:6; Lk 9:35). Live the “radical newness” of your baptismal life (Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful People, Pope St. John Paul II, 10).

Prayer: “God indeed is my Savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord” (Is 12:2).

Promise: “All you who are thirsty, come to the water!” —Is 55:1

Praise: Praise Jesus, Whose Spirit is the Promise of the Father (Acts 1:4). Praise Jesus, the Beloved Son of the Father. Alleluia!

(From a reflection by Fr Al Lauer’s Presentation Ministries)

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John Portelli

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