Saturday, January 12, 2008

Baptism of Jesus

Sunday: The Baptism of Jesus

Waist Deep in Confusion

Advent and the Christmas season have come and gone. I trust everyone had a blessed holiday.

My reflection experience this year centered on the cast of characters God called to bring Jesus into our world. I found some similar characteristics in their calling as well as their response to God’s call.

The first person I considered was the blessed Mother. Her yes was the first step taken to bring about the salvation of the world through her son Jesus. I don’t think we have a full understanding of the difficulties Mary faced by her response to the angel.

She faced the disappointment of Joseph her family and the community. Divorce was a real possibility at the very least, death was also an option. Joseph in a dream learned the truth and took her into his home. She struggled with the unknown her yes did not provide answers to all of her questions or concerns. But she said yes anyway.

Next I considered the wise men. They traveled untold miles from their home to the town of Bethlehem. They came seeking the king of the Jews. They followed a star and found a stable. My pastor suggested in his homily last week that they may have been disappointed finding not a palace but a stable.

But they were not deterred they entered gave homage and presented the child with gifts. The length of their journey and the origin of the journey are unknown. What is known is that they followed through with their calling. They set out on a journey without knowing where they were going. Their reward they found the Son of God.

Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. My attention centered on John the Baptist. He was the forerunner of Christ and we find him waist deep in the Jordan river baptizing those seeking repentance.

All seemed to be going well and John was fulfilling his mission and calling. Than Jesus shows up and John finds himself waist deep in a river of confusion.

Jesus asked John to baptize him. John protests saying you need to baptize me. John has been waiting for the Lord to appear. He had it all worked out in his mind as to how things would go. But God’s ways are not our ways.

Mary said yes not knowing what lay ahead, the wise men set out on a journey not knowing the destination. John the Baptist finds himself in a state of confusion.

How are we to respond when we find ourselves in a river of confusion?

Follow the example of Mary the Wise men and John the Baptist.

John listened to the words of Jesus. We also need to listen to the word of the Lord. We find those words in Holy Scripture. The daily readings offer in site for us as we seek to find our way.

Prayer offers opportunity to present our needs to the Lord. In addition prayer offers time to listen to God. We seem to spend a great deal of time asking God for the things we need. We spend little time listening. A one sided conversation to be sure.

Our journey is a winding one to be sure with many twists and turns. John the Baptist may not have had all the answers but that did not keep him from completing his mission. He was obedient and baptized Jesus.

Confusion and questions abound for all who seek to follow the Lord. But confusion and questions are no excuse for disobedience.

Follow the example of Mary John and the Wise men, and in time you will find Jesus at journeys end.