Soul Food for Sundays

A Reflection for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Sunday 8th January 2023

8th January 2023
Matthew 3:13-17

The Author: Ronan Barry
calendar_today Date: December 23, 2022 - 2 minutes read

You are beloved (Matthew 3:17)

It is interesting to take note that Jesus sought John the Baptist to receive baptism. Jesus did not wait for John to find him. This action in itself speaks of the missionary attitude that Jesus’ life expressed in every action and every word.

At the baptism Jesus hear the words, ‘You are my beloved’. By listening to the spirit of God, Jesus found John and, in this experience, he experienced the love of his father.

In Pope Francis’s encyclical, Amoris Laetitia, the Pope speaks to the mosaic of our families where the cornerstone of family is love and loving relationships.  He explains,
The family is the image of God, who is a communion of persons. At Christ’s baptism, the Father’s voice was heard, calling Jesus his beloved Son, and in this love, we can recognize the Holy Spirit (cf. Matthew 3:13-17).

The experience of God’s love goes to the heart of family.  Like Jesus, when we hear these words that tell us that we are loved, an overwhelming joy floods our hearts.

Where in your life have you heard this call and experienced this joy?

The Feast of Baptism is a reminder for us for us all to be fully engaged in living a life rooted in love and loving relationships. From our baptism we are called to be fully involved in life and love.

In our world today who needs to know that they are ‘loved’?  

St. Francis of Assisi: Make me an instrument of your peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

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Ronan Barry

Ronan is Director of Spiritan Mission Ireland, set up in 2017 to respond, in line with Spiritan charism, to the current context of the Irish Spiritan Province and Church. He was part of the Spiritan education team for over ten years. He lives with his family in Kildare.