St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

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Lecturas:
Éxodo 20,1–17
Salmo 19, 8–11
1 Corintios 1, 22–25
Juan 2, 13–25

Jesús no viene para destruir la tradición que el Templo representa, sino para “darle cumplimiento” (cf. Mt 5,17); es decir, para revelar su verdadero significado dentro del plan de salvación de Dios.

El es el Señor de quien los profetas dijeron que vendría a purificar el Templo, echando afuera a los comerciantes y haciéndolo “casa de oración para todos los pueblos” (cf. Za 14,21; Ml 3,1–5; Is 56,7).

El Dios, que hizo los cielos y la tierra, que sacó a Israel de la esclavitud de Egipto, “no habita en casas fabricadas por manos humanas” (cf. Hch 7,48; 2S 7,6). Ni necesita sacrificios de novillos, ni ovejas ni palomas (cf. Sal 50,7–13).

En la primera lectura de este domingo es importante constatar que, en un principio, Dios no pedía sacrificios de animales, sino solo que Israel obedeciera sus mandamientos (cf. Jr 7,21–23; Am 5, 25).

Su ley fue un regalo de la sabiduría divina, como cantamos en el salmo. Es una Ley de Amor (cf. Mt 22, 36–40), expresada perfectamente en la entrega que Cristo hizo de sí mismo en la cruz (cf. Jn 15,13).

Este es el “signo” que Jesús ofrece en el evangelio: signo que fue “escándalo” para los líderes de los judíos, como dice San Pablo en la epístola.

El cuerpo de Jesús, destruido en la cruz y resucitado tres días después, es el Nuevo y verdadero Santuario. Desde el templo de su cuerpo salen ríos de agua viva, el Espíritu de gracia que hace de cada uno de nosotros un templo (cf. 1 Co 3,16) y nos constituye en morada de Dios (cf. Ef 2, 22).

Nosotros, en la Eucaristía, participamos en el ofrecimiento de su Cuerpo y Sangre. Este es el culto “en espíritu y verdad” que desea el Padre (cf. Jn 4, 23–24).

La alabanza es nuestro mejor sacrificio (cf. Sal 50,14.23). Esto consiste en imitar a Cristo “ofreciendo nuestros cuerpos”; es decir, todas nuestras intenciones y acciones por amor a Dios y al prójimo (Hb 10,5–7; Rom 12,1; 1P 2,5).

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Readings:
Exodus 20:1–17
Psalm 19:8–11
1 Corinthians 1:22–25
John 2:13–25

Jesus does not come to destroy the temple, but to fulfill it (see Matthew 5:17)—to reveal its true purpose in God’s saving plan.

He is the Lord the prophets said would come—to purify the temple, banish the merchants, and make it a house of prayer for all peoples (see Zechariah 14:21; Malachi 3:1–5; Isaiah 56:7).

The God who made the heavens and the earth, who brought Israel out of slavery, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands (see Acts 7:48; 2 Samuel 7:5).

Nor does He need offerings of oxen, sheep, or doves (see Psalm 50:7–13).

Notice in today’s First Reading that God did not originally command animal sacrifices—only that Israel heed His commandments (see Jeremiah 7:21–23; Amos 5:25).

His law was a gift of divine wisdom, as we sing in today’s Psalm. It was a law of love (see Matthew 22:36–40), perfectly expressed in Christ’s self-offering on the Cross (see John 15:13).

This is the “sign” Jesus offers in the Gospel today—the sign that caused Jewish leaders to stumble, as Paul tells us in the Epistle.

Jesus’ body—destroyed on the Cross and raised up three days later—is the new and true sanctuary. From the temple of His body, rivers of living water flow, the Spirit of grace that makes each of us a temple (see 1 Corinthians 3:16) and together builds us into a dwelling place of God (see Ephesians 2:22).

In the Eucharist we participate in His offering of His body and blood. This is the worship in Spirit and in truth that the Father desires (see John 4:23–24).

We are to offer praise as our sacrifice (see Psalm 50:14, 23). This means imitating Christ—offering our bodies—all our intentions and actions in every circumstance, for the love of God and the love of others (see Hebrews 10:5–7; Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5).

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Beginning on March 1, the Sunday Bible Reflections will be upgraded to the Daily Bible Reflections. Scott Hahn will continue to provide his scriptural insight into the Sunday mass readings, but the St. Paul Center will also provide you with more biblical scholarship on the daily mass readings, featuring such Bible scholars as Dr. John Bergsma, Professor Curtis Mitch, Rob Corzine, and Becket Ghioto.

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Lecturas:
Génesis 22,1–2, 9–13, 15–18;
Salmo 116,10, 15–19;
Romanos 8, 31–34;
Marcos 9, 2–10

El tiempo de cuaresma continúa con otra narración sobre una prueba. El domingo pasado leímos las tentaciones de Jesús en el desierto.

La primera lectura de este domingo habla sobre la prueba de Abraham. La Iglesia siempre ha visto en esta historia un signo del amor de Dios, que “entregó a su Hijo único” (cf. Jn 3,16).

En la epístola, San Pablo menciona que Dios, como Abraham (cf, Gn 22,16) “no perdonó a su propio Hijo, antes bien le entregó por todos nosotros” (Rm 8, 32).

El evangelio retoma esa figura. Jesús es llamado “el Hijo Amado” de Dios, así como Isaac es descrito como el amado hijo único de Abraham (cf. Gn 22, 2)

Estas lecturas se nos dan en la cuaresma para revelarnos la identidad de Cristo y para fortalecernos frente a nuestras tribulaciones.

Jesús es mostrado como el verdadero hijo, al que Abraham se regocijó en contemplar (cf. Mt 1,1; Jn 8, 56).

En su transfiguración, Jesús manifiesta ser “el profeta como Moisés” prometido por Dios — suscitado de entre el Pueblo de Dios — que habla con la autoridad del mismo Señor (cf. Dt 18,15.19).

Como Moisés, Jesús también sube a la montaña con tres amigos, cuyos nombres hallamos en el texto y ve la gloria de Dios en una nube (cf. Ex 24,1.9.15).

Jesús es El que fue profetizado, El que habría de venir después del regreso de Elías (cf. Si 48, 9–10; Ml 3,1, 23–24).

Además, como Él mismo lo revela a sus apóstoles, Jesús es el Hijo del Hombre enviado a sufrir y morir por nuestros pecados (cf. Is 53,3).

Como cantamos en el salmo de este domingo, Jesús creyó aún en el momento de su aflicción y Dios lo liberó de los lazos de la muerte (cf. Sal 116, 3).

Su resurrección debe darnos el valor para enfrentar nuestras pruebas y ofrecernos totalmente al Padre, como lo hizo El y como lo hicieron Abraham e Isaac.

Liberados de la muerte por Su muerte, hemos venido a esta Misa a ofrecer un sacrificio de acción de gracias y a renovar nuestras promesas como sus siervos fieles.

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Readings:
Genesis 22:1–2, 9–13, 15–18
Psalm 116:10, 15–19
Romans 8:31–34
Mark 9:2–10

The Lenten season continues with another story of testing. Last Sunday, we heard the trial of Jesus in the desert. In this week’s First Reading, we hear of how Abraham was put to the test.

The Church has always read this story as a sign of God’s love for the world in giving His only-begotten son.

In today’s Epistle, Paul uses exact words drawn from this story to describe how God, like Abraham, did not withhold His only Son, but handed Him over for us on the Cross (see Romans 8:32; Genesis 22:12,16).

In the Gospel today, too, we hear another echo. Jesus is called God’s “beloved Son”—as Isaac is described as Abraham’s beloved son.

These readings are given to us in Lent to reveal Christ’s identity and to strengthen us in the face of our afflictions.

Jesus is shown to be the true son that Abraham rejoiced to see (see Matthew 1:1; John 8:56). In His transfiguration, He is revealed to be the “prophet like Moses” foretold by God—raised from among their own kinsmen, speaking with God’s own authority (see Deuteronomy 18:15, 19).

Like Moses, He climbs the mountain with three named friends and beholds God’s glory in a cloud (see Exodus 24:1, 9, 15). He is the one prophesied to come after Elijah’s return (see Sirach 48:9–10; Malachi 3:1, 23–24).

And, as He discloses to the Apostles, He is the Son of Man sent to suffer and die for our sins (see Isaiah 53:3).

As we sing in today’s Psalm, Jesus believed in the face of His afflictions, and God loosed Him from the bonds of death (see Psalm 116:3).

His rising should give us the courage to face our trials, to off er ourselves totally to the Father—as He did, as Abraham and Isaac did.

Freed from death by His death, we come to this Mass to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and to renew our vows—as His servants and faithful ones.

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Lecturas:
Génesis 9, 8-15;
Salmo 25, 4-9;
1 Pedro 3, 18-22;
Marcos 1, 12-15

La cuaresma nos invita a regresar a la inocencia del bautismo.

En la epístola de este domingo, San Pedro nos recuerda que, así como Noé y su familia fueron preservados de las aguas del diluvio, también nosotros somos salvados por las aguas del bautismo.

El pacto de Dios con Noé, que leemos en la primera lectura, marcó el inicio de un nuevo mundo; más aún, prefiguró una nueva y más importante alianza entre el Creador y su creación (cf. Os 2,20; Is 11,1-9).

En el evangelio podemos ver el comienzo de esta Nueva Alianza y esta nueva creación. Jesús es presentado como el nuevo Adán – el hijo amado de Dios (cf. Mc 1, 11; Lc 3, 38), que vive en armonía con las bestias salvajes y es servido por los ángeles (cf. Gn 2, 19-20; Ez 28, 12-14).

Jesús es tentado por el diablo, al igual que Adán. Sin embargo, a diferencia de éste, que con su caída provocó el dominio del pecado y de la muerte en el mundo (cf. Rm 5,12-14,17-20), Cristo vence a Satanás.

En esto consiste la Buena Nueva, el “evangelio de Dios” que Él proclama. Por su muerte, resurrección y entronización a la diestra del Padre, el mundo se vuelve otra vez reino de Dios.

En las aguas del Bautismo, cada uno de nosotros entró en el reino del Hijo Amado de Dios (cf. Col 1, 13-14). Por medio de él fuimos hechos hijos de Dios, criaturas nuevas (cf. 2 Co 5,7; Ga 4, 3-7).

Sin embargo, como Jesús, e Israel antes que Él, hemos sido bautizados sólo para ser conducidos al desierto: a un mundo lleno de aflicciones y pruebas para nuestra fidelidad (cf. 1 Co 10,1-4,9,13; Dt 8, 2,16).

En esta peregrinación – purificación Jesús es nuestro guía. Él es el Salvador, el Camino y la Verdad que cantamos en el salmo de este domingo (cf. Jn 14,6).

Nos da el pan de los ángeles (cf. Sal 78,25; Sb 16,20) y lava nuestras culpas en el sacramento de reconciliación. Por tanto, comencemos este tiempo santo renovando nuestros votos bautismales arrepintiéndonos y creyendo el evangelio.

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Readings:
Genesis 9:8–15
Psalm 25:4–9
1 Peter 3:18–22
Mark 1:12–15

Lent bids us to return to the innocence our baptism. As Noah and his family were saved through the waters of the deluge, we were saved through the waters of Baptism, Peter reminds us in today’s Epistle.

And God’s covenant with Noah in today’s First Reading marked the start of a new world. But it also prefigured a new and greater covenant between God and His creation (see Hosea 2:20; Isaiah 11:1–9).

We see that new covenant and that new creation begin in today’s Gospel.

Jesus is portrayed as the new Adam—the beloved son of God (see Mark 1:11; Luke 3:38), living in harmony with the wild beasts (see Genesis 2:19–20), being served by angels (see Ezekiel 28:12–14).

Like Adam, He too is tempted by the devil. But while Adam fell, giving reign to sin and death (see Romans 5:12–14, 17–20), Jesus is victorious.

This is the good news, the “gospel of God” that He proclaims. Through His death, resurrection, and enthronement at the right hand of the Father, the world is once again made God’s kingdom.

In the waters of Baptism, each of us entered the kingdom of His beloved Son (see Colossians 1:13–14). We were made children of God, new creations (see 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 4:3–7).

But like Jesus, and Israel before Him, we have passed through the baptismal waters only to be driven into the wilderness—a world filled with afflictions and tests of our faithfulness (see 1 Corinthians 10:1–4, 9,13; Deuteronomy 8:2, 16).

We are led on this journey by Jesus. He is the Savior—the way and the truth we sing of in today’s Psalm (see John 14:6). He feeds us with the bread of angels (see Psalm 78:25; Wisdom 16:20), and cleanses our consciences in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

As we begin this holy season, let us renew our baptismal vows—to repent and believe the gospel.

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Readings:
Job 7:1–4, 6–7
Psalm 147:1–6
1 Corinthians 9:16–19, 22–23
Mark 1:29–39

In today’s First Reading, Job describes the futility of life before Christ.

His lament reminds us of the curse of toil and death placed upon Adam following his original sin (see Genesis 3:17–19). Men and women are like slaves seeking shade, unable to find rest. Their lives are like the wind that comes and goes.

But, as we sing in today’s Psalm, He who created the stars promised to heal the brokenhearted and gather those lost in exile from Him (see Isaiah 11:12; 61:1). We see this promise fulfilled in today’s Gospel.

Simon’s mother-in-law is like Job’s toiling, hopeless humanity. She is laid low by affliction but too weak to save herself.

But as God promised to take His chosen people by the hand (see Isaiah 42:6), Jesus grasps her by the hand and helps her up. The word translated “help” is actually Greek for “raising up.” The same verb is used when Jesus commands a dead girl to arise (see Mark 5:41–42). It’s used again to describe His own resurrection (see Mark 14:28; 16:7).

What Jesus has done for Simon’s mother-in-law, He has done for all humanity—raised all of us who lay dead through our sins (see Ephesians 2:5).

Notice all the words of totality and completeness in the Gospel. The whole town gathers; all the sick are brought to Him. He drives out demons in the whole of Galilee. Everyone is looking for Christ.

We too have found Him. By our baptism, He healed and raised us to live in His presence (see Hosea 6:1–2).

Like Simon’s mother-in-law, there is only one way we can thank Him for the new life He has given us. We must rise to serve Him and His gospel.

Our lives must be our thanksgiving, as Paul describes in today’s Epistle. We must tell everyone the good news, the purpose for which Jesus has come—that others, too, may have a share in this salvation.

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Readings:
Deuteronomy 18:15–20
Psalm 95:1–2, 6–9
1 Corinthians 7:32–35
Mark 1:21–28

Last week, Jesus announced the kingdom of God is at hand. This week, in mighty words and deeds, He exercises His dominion—asserting royal authority over the ruler of this world, Satan (see John 12:31).

Notice that today’s events take place on the sabbath. The sabbath was to be an everlasting sign—both of God’s covenant love for His creation (see Exodus 20:8–11; 31:12–17), and His deliverance of His covenant people, Israel, from slavery (see Deuteronomy 6:12–15).

On this sabbath, Jesus signals a new creation—that the Holy One has come to purify His people and deliver the world from evil.

“With an unclean spirit” is biblical language for a man possessed by a demon, Satan being the prince of demons (see Mark 3:22).

The demons’ question: “What have you to do with us?” is often used in Old Testament scenes of combat and judgment (see Judges 11:12; 1 Kings 17:18).

And as God by His Word “rebuked” the forces of chaos in creating the world (see Psalms 104:7; Job 26:10–12), and again rebuked the Red Sea so the Israelites could make their exodus (see Psalm 106:9), Mark uses the same word to describe Jesus rebuking the demons (see Mark 4:39; Zechariah 3:2).

Jesus is the prophet foretold by Moses in today’s First Reading (see Acts 3:22). Though He has authority over heaven and earth (see Daniel 7:14, 27; Revelation 12:10), He becomes one of our own kinsmen.

He comes to rebuke the forces of evil and chaos—not only in the world, but in our lives. He wants to make us holy in body and spirit, as Paul says in today’s Epistle (see Exodus 31:12).

In this liturgy, we hear His voice and “see” His works, as we sing in today’s Psalm. And as Moses tells us today, we should listen to Him.

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Lecturas:
Jonás 3,1–5.10
Salmo 25,4–9
1 Corintios 7, 29–31
Marcos 1, 14–20

La llamada de los hermanos, en el Evangelio dominical, evoca la elección de Eliseo por el profeta Elías (cf. 1R 19,19–21).

Así como Elías encuentra a Eliseo trabajando en los cultivos familiares, Jesús ve a los hermanos trabajando en la ribera del mar. Y como Eliseo dejó a su madre y padre para seguir a Elías, también los hermanos dejan a su padre para ir en pos de Jesús.

La promesa de Jesús –de hacerlos “pescadores de hombres”– evoca las más profundas esperanzas de Israel. El profeta Jeremías anunció un nuevo éxodo en el que Dios enviaría a muchos “pescadores de hombres” para restaurar a los israelitas del exilio, como lo había hecho ya cuando los sacó de la esclavitud de Egipto (cf. Jr 16,14–16).

Por la cruz y la resurrección de Jesús, este nuevo éxodo ha comenzado (cf. Lc 9,31). Y los apóstoles son los primeros miembros del nuevo pueblo de Dios, la Iglesia: una familia basada no en lazos de sangre, sino en la fe en Cristo y en el deseo de cumplir la voluntad del Padre (cf. Jn 1,12–13; Mt 12,46–50).

De ahora en adelante, incluso nuestras más importantes preocupaciones mundanas—relaciones familiares, quehaceres y posesiones—deben ser juzgadas a la luz del Evangelio, como dice San Pablo en la epístola del domingo.

La primera palabra del Evangelio de Jesús—arrepiéntanse—significa que debemos cambiar totalmente nuestro modo de pensar y vivir, convirtiéndonos del mal y haciendo todo por el amor de Dios.

Deberíamos sentirnos consolados por el arrepentimiento de Nínive, relatado en la primera lectura de esta semana. Incluso los malvados ninivitas se pudieron arrepentir ante la predicación de Jonás. Y en Jesús tenemos alguien mayor que Jonás (cf. Mt 12,41).

Tenemos a Dios, que ha venido como nuestro Salvador para mostrar a los pecadores el camino, como cantamos en el salmo dominical. Esto debería darnos esperanza de que los amados de Dios que están lejos de Él, encontrarán compasión si se vuelven a Él. Pero también nosotros debemos avanzar por la senda del arrepentimiento, esforzándonos cada día por moldear nuestra vida siguiendo el modelo de Cristo.

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Readings:
Jonah 3:1–5,10
Psalm 25:4–9
1 Corinthians 7:29–31
Mark 1:14–20

The calling of the brothers in today’s Gospel evokes Elisha’s commissioning by the prophet Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:19–21).

As Elijah comes upon Elisha working on his family’s farm, so Jesus sees the brothers working by the seaside. And as Elisha left his mother and father to follow Elijah, so the brothers leave their father to come after Jesus.

Jesus’ promise—to make them “fishers of men”—evokes Israel’s deepest hopes. The prophet Jeremiah announced a new exodus in which God would send “many fishermen” to restore the Israelites from exile, as once He brought them out of slavery in Egypt (see Jeremiah 16:14–16).

By Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection, this new exodus has begun (see Luke 9:31). And the apostles are the first of a new people of God, the Church—a new family, based not on blood ties, but on belief in Jesus and a desire to do the Father’s will (see John 1:12–13; Matthew 12:46–50).

From now on, even our most important worldly concerns—family relations, occupations, and possessions—must be judged in light of the Gospel, Paul says in today’s Epistle.

The first word of Jesus’ Gospel—repent—means we must totally change our way of thinking and living, turning from evil, doing all for the love of God.

And we should be consoled by Nineveh’s repentance in today’s First Reading. Even the wicked Nineveh could repent at Jonah’s preaching. And in Jesus we have “something greater than Jonah” (Matthew 12:41). We have God come as our savior, to show sinners the way, as we sing in today’s Psalm. This should give us hope—that loved ones who remain far from God will find compassion if they turn to Him.

But we, too, must continue along the path of repentance—striving daily to pattern our lives after His.

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Lecturas:
1 Samuel 3, 3–10.19
Salmo 40, 2.4.7–10
1 Corintios 6, 3–15.17–20
Juan 1,35–42

En las llamadas de Samuel y del primero de los Apóstoles, las lecturas de este domingo nos dan luz sobre nuestra propia vocación de seguidores de Cristo.

En el Evangelio, hay que notar que los discípulos de Juan están preparados para escuchar la llamada de Dios. Ellos ya están buscando al Mesías, por lo tanto confían en la palabra de Juan y le comprenden cuando él les señala al Cordero de Dios que pasa a su lado.

También Samuel está a la espera del Señor: duerme cerca del Arca de la Alianza, donde mora la gloria de Dios, y recibe instrucción de Elí, el sumo sacerdote.

Samuel escuchó la palabra de Dios y el Señor estaba con él. Y Samuel, por su palabra, convirtió a todo Israel al Señor (cf. 1S 3,21; 7,2-3). También los discípulos escucharon y siguieron las palabras que escuchamos continuamente en el Evangelio dominical. Ellos permanecieron con el Señor y por su testimonio, otros se acercaron a Él.

Estos pasajes de la historia de la salvación deberían darnos la fuerza necesaria para que abracemos la voluntad de Dios y sigamos su llamado en nuestras vidas.

Dios está llamando constantemente a cada uno de nosotros: lo llama por su nombre, personalmente (cf. Is 43,1; Jn 10,3). Quiere que lo busquemos por amor, que anhelemos su Palabra (cf. Sb 6,11-12). Como lo hicieron los apóstoles, debemos desear siempre estar donde el Señor está; para buscar su rostro constantemente.

Como nos dice San Pablo en la epístola del domingo, no somos dueños de nosotros mismos pues pertenecemos al Señor.

Debemos abrir nuestros oídos a la obediencia y escribir su Palabra en nuestro corazón. Hemos de confiar en la promesa del Señor: si venimos a Él con fe, Él será misericordioso con nosotros (cf. Jn 15,14; 14,21-23) y nos levantará con su poder. Y nosotros debemos reflejar en nuestras vidas el amor que nos ha mostrado, para que también otros puedan encontrar al Mesías.

Mientras renovamos las promesas de nuestro discipulado en esta Eucaristía, acerquémonos al altar entonando el nuevo canto del salmo dominical: “Aquí estoy, Señor, para cumplir tu voluntad”.

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Readings:
1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10
1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20
John 1:35-42

In the call of Samuel and of the first Apostles, today’s readings shed light on our own calling to be followers of Christ.

Notice in the Gospel today that John’s disciples are prepared to hear God’s call. They are already looking for the Messiah, so they trust in John’s word and follow when he points out the Lamb of God walking by.

Samuel is also waiting on the Lord—sleeping near the Ark of the Covenant where God’s glory dwells, taking instruction from Eli, the high priest.

Samuel listened to God’s word and the Lord was with him. And Samuel, through his word, turned all Israel to the Lord (see 1 Samuel 3:21; 7:2–3). The disciples too heard and followed—words we hear
repeatedly in today’s Gospel. They stayed with the Lord and by their testimony brought others to the Lord.

These scenes from salvation history should give us strength to embrace God’s will and to follow His call in our lives.

God is constantly calling to each of us—personally, by name (see Isaiah 43:1; John 10:3). He wants us to seek Him in love, to long for His word (see Wisdom 6:11–12). We must desire always, as the apostles did, to stay where the Lord stays, to constantly seek His face (see Psalm 42:2).

For we are not our own, but belong to the Lord, as Paul says in today’s Epistle.

We must have ears open to obedience, and write His word within our hearts. We must trust in the Lord’s promise—that if we come to Him in faith, He will abide with us (see John 15:14; 14:21–23), and raise us by His power. And we must reflect in our lives the love He has shown us, so that others too may find the Messiah.

As we renew our vows of discipleship in this Eucharist, let us approach the altar singing the new song of today’s Psalm: “Behold I come . . . to do your will O God.”

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Readings:
Isaiah 42:1–4, 6–7
Psalm 29:1–4, 9–10
Acts 10:34–38
Luke 3:15–16, 21–22

The Liturgy last week revealed the mystery of God’s plan—that in Jesus all peoples, symbolized by the magi, have been made “co-heirs” to the blessings promised to Israel. This week, we’re shown how we claim our inheritance.

Jesus doesn’t submit to John’s baptism as a sinner in need of purification. He humbles Himself to pass through Jordan’s waters in order to lead a new “exodus”—opening up the promised land of heaven so that all peoples can hear the words pronounced over Jesus today, words once reserved only for Israel and its king: that each of us is a beloved son or daughter of God (see Genesis 22:2; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7).

Jesus is the chosen servant Isaiah prophesies in today’s First Reading, anointed with the Spirit to make things right and just on earth. God puts His Spirit upon Jesus to make Him “a covenant of
the people,” the liberator of the captives, the light to the nations. Jesus, today’s Second Reading tells us, is the One long expected in Israel, “anointed . . . with the Holy Spirit and power.”

The word Messiah means “one anointed” with God’s Spirit. King David was “the anointed of the God of Jacob” (see 2 Samuel 23:1–17; Psalm 18:51; 132:10, 17). The prophets taught Israel to await a royal offshoot of David, upon whom the Spirit would rest (see Isaiah 11:1–2; Daniel 9:25).

That’s why people of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to John. But it isn’t John they’re looking for. God confirms with His own voice what the Angel earlier told Mary—Jesus is the Son of the Most High, come to claim the throne of David forever (see Luke 1:32–33).

In the Baptism that He brings, the voice of God will hover over the waters as fiery flame, as we sing in today’s Psalm. He has sanctified the waters, made them a passage—a way to healing and freedom—a fountain of new birth and everlasting life.

Direct download: C_Baptism_of_Lord_2016.mp3
Category:Sunday Bible Reflections -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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