Random acts of kindness

by | Jan 8, 2015 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistBaptism of the Lord (B), January 11, 2015 – Is 42, 1-4. 6-7; Acts 10, 34-38; Mk 1, 7-11

He went about doing good (Acts 10, 38)

We the baptized are authentic followers of Jesus if we, in imitation of him, are God’s humble and suffering servants.

Jesus humbly undergoes the baptism of repentance and forgiveness. Though sinless, he becomes sin so that we may become the righteousness of God; he bears the curse of our sins to free us from it.

The reason for Jesus’ humility is service to the end. Outdoing Abraham in faithfulness (Gen 22), the Father does not spare his beloved only Son but hands him over for us all. And it is not that he wants Jesus dead; it is just that his goodness makes him underestimate the wickedness of us tenants (“they will respect my son”). So then, the mission of the Son ends up being that of serving and giving his life as a ransom for all.

This mission of Jesus is made known at his baptism. At his initiation, Jesus is proclaimed God’s beloved Son (Ps 2). He is consecrated with the power of the Holy Spirit, as the king on Zion, to whom are given the nations as inheritance and the ends of the earth as possession. The affirmation of his being the one in whom God is pleased indicates besides that Jesus is the Servant prophesied by Isaiah.

God puts his Spirit upon his Servant for the fostering of right and justice. And the Servant carries out the divine assignment, not only with perseverance, but also with meekness and patience, to the point of bearing our infirmities and enduring our sufferings, of being pierced for our offenses and crushed for our sins.

We Christians have to be what Jesus is. God’s Chosen and Sent One sends us, in turn, giving us his Spirit, to evangelize the poor. Ours is the responsibility to go through towns and villages, bringing the joy and hope of the Gospel to all, to the crushed and dejected especially, contributing to the cure and healing of the sick, whether bodily or spiritually, manifesting Christian compassion and the other fruits of the Spirit.

Or as St. Vincent de Paul instructs us, regarding the poor, our mission is to preach the Gospel to them, to comfort them, to remedy their spiritual and temporal needs, to assist them ourselves in every way and have others assist them likewise (XII:87). And “in every way” also means to eat Christ’s body and drink his blood, and thus to live fully our participation in his baptism.

O God, make the baptized other Christs, your humble and suffering servants.

Ross Reyes Dizon

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