The voice of the Father

One of the wonders of the Lord’s Baptism, which we celebrate today, is that for the first time Christ heard His Father’s voice as a man.  This has incredible meaning for us, this unveiling of the heart of the Father for us:

“It is as man that he now hears his Father and sees the Spirit, and he rejoices that, because he now dwells humbly among the sons of men, the Father can no longer speak to him without his fellow-man feeling something of the vibration of that resounding Voice.  Christ brings man not so much a teaching as a dazzling proximity to the inner life of God.  And the very essence of the divine life, the very life-breath of the Son, is the good pleasure, the gracious favor and delight of the Father.” (Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis)

Through His baptism by John, Jesus shows us the way to attaining this inner life.  He humbly show us; He patterns for us what He has no need of.   As Leiva-Merikakis points out: “His present task is to show what human repentance in the presence of God is to be, and it surely comes to him as no surprise that the gift of the Spirit is the result of such repentance and turning to God.”  All God the Father asks of us is humility and repentance, something attainable by each of us.  We are not asked to accomplish great ascetic works or perform great deeds.  All that is needed is a humble and contrite heart . . . and then we each hear spoken to us personally: “Here is my beloved son/daughter, in whom I am well pleased.”

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