Baptism of the Lord
January 12-13, 2019
Day One for Jesus on the Job!
From Fr. Anthony Ligato
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Do you remember your first day on the job, how did that first day go for you? Was it everything you thought it would be? Did you feel unprepared? Were you overwhelmed? I remember so well how that first day as a newly ordained Priest went, it was July 10, 1995 the first day of my first assignment as a priest. I arrived on that Monday morning with my car fully loaded to move into Blessed Sacrament Church on Central Avenue in Albany. As I pulled my car into the parking lot, I noticed a school bus with many people standing outside the bus waiting to get on. I did not think much of it and went to the Rectory to move in. When I got inside the Pastor welcomed me and the former Associate Pastor who I was replacing. After a few moments of exchanging pleasantries, they told me I was going on that bus which was leaving in 10 minutes to chaperone the children on their weekly trip to Grafton Lake State Park. Here I was with 40 screaming kids and 5 chaperones who I did not even know.
My first day was as a camp counselor and believe me, I did not do it too well. Jesus’ first day on the job went much better than mine did, he arrived at the Jordan River after being introduced by John the Baptist and all the prophets that came before John,” I am baptizing you with water but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” When Jesus presented himself at the Jordan, it was the beginning of his public ministry and the revelation that took place was a further indication of the truth of the incarnation. Just as when the shepherds came to the stable and shared the message that the Angel had announced that a Savior had been born. In the same way the Magi brought with them the revelation that the Christ had been born and it was a star that led them to Bethlehem. In today’s gospel we are given the revelation from the Holy Spirit, “You are my beloved Son; whom I am well pleased.” Not bad for the first day on the job.
There can’t be a better recommendation than from our Heavenly Father. The revelations of who Jesus is would continue throughout his public ministry and it is because he did his job so well that he would ultimately suffer and die on the cross. From the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized (Lk. 3:1522) to the Mount of Transfiguration where Jesus shone radiantly with Moses and Elijah as the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets (Mt. 17:18) to Peter’s pronouncement at Caesarea Philippi that Jesus is, “The Son of the living God!” (Mt. 16:16) to the trial in Jerusalem where the chief priest says to Jesus, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” (Mt. 26: 63) Each of these episodes reveals who Jesus is and why he came into the world.
Our job is to continue that revelation and whether we feel ill prepared or over whelmed by the task, we are called to announce this message. To whom do we announce the message? To family, friends, coworkers and even strangers. And to the poor, the widow the orphan, to anyone who needs God’s mercy. That would mean everyone.
Yours in Christ,