Grace: For an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord who chose to be like us in every way except sin.
Text for Prayer: Mt. 3:11-17 Place yourself in the scene.
In a restless world that competes for riches, honors, and pride, a world of cage fighters trying to knock out their opponents while others cheer on, we can find rest and refreshment by the Jordan River.
People line up seeking the cool waters of baptism of John the Baptist, renouncing their sins and resolving to direct all their strivings toward something more than pleasure, success, and good fortune. There is a thirst that only a humble submission to the Divine through sincere repentance can quench.
Jesus arrives on the scene and His exchange with John is refreshingly counter-cultural. There seems to be a competition, but here humility is the game and God’s will is the prize. John has many followers, but without any hesitation, he steps aside for a mightier One’s arrival. Jesus is the Son of God, free from sin, yet He receives the baptism of a sinner for sinners. John’s humility makes him resemble the Son of God, and Christ’s humility unites Him fully with humanity. It’s no surprise that these men are cousins! As John submits to Jesus’ request, Jesus submits to the Father’s request, and He is well pleased (with both of His sons).
Jesus commences His public ministry with a profound act of humility, showing us that no talent, no career, no effort, no fight, and no accomplishment is greater than choosing what God has chosen for us.
“Do not deny your talents or your successes. Rather, thank God that he uses you to do his work, just as an artist uses simple brushes to create a work of art.” –Servant of God, Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan