NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

Thursday, January 6, 2011

JESUS IN THE JORDAN -- MY TAKE

THE TRINITY IS MANIFESTED
I want to engage you in a meditation about the Baptism of Jesus that will not take you down the well-worn paths that you've been trodding now for years as you hear homilies, reflections and meditations that all sound about the same.  I have been listening to my heart and head having a conversation with the Holy Spirit and I will try to express what it is that I have heard and come to believe.
We have to start with the expression, "We are the children of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."  Jesus, by His incarnation was made a child of that genealogy, as St. Matthew tells us in his first chapter.  Keeping this in mind, my inspiration takes me down this path.  Just as Abraham was taken from the shores of the great Euphrates, one of the most fertile areas of the World, so was Jesus, descended from Heaven, taken from the Divine Father's side and placed on earth.  Jesus was given the land that had been given to God's chosen people many centuries before His Incarnation.  In a mysterious and deeply spiritual way, Jesus was following the path of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  We are told in the story, that Jesus Himself walked over to John to make Himself available for the ritual of Repentance and Reconciliation and ultimately the ritual which would seal human relationships into discipleship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The Baptism of Repentance and Reconciliation differs from circumcision in that it is an event that introduces humans into spiritual communion with God.  It is more than a physical sign of belonging to a given group or community, call it a people.  Jesus had been circumcised.  John had been circumcised.  By this, they were recognized as People of God, the Chosen People.  John had received the grace of prophecy, thereby living out a dynamic discipleship with God.  It was in communion with this divine grace and in the action of God through His Grace Instrument that Jesus was incorporated into spiritual discipleship with God.  It is this action, this Baptismal ritual that initiated Jesus into His mission to the rest of the world. Circumcision, the sign of belonging to the One True God was perfected by the Baptism of Repentance and Reconciliation in the Jordan.  Like Abraham, Jesus had left His Home, come to Palestine, gone to Egypt and returned to the Promised Land, thereby perfecting and completing the journey of Abraham.
The Mission was not yet complete.  The covenant between God and Abraham had still to be made perfect.  The sacrifice of the Son, Isaac on the one hand and Jesus on the other had still to be consummated and perfected.  The people of God had to be liberated from the shackles of sin, physical animal sacrifices and the Law which, in St. Paul's famous words, "brought death into the world, while grace brought life.  Romans, chapter 5.
Once the wood for the Sacrifice had been carried to the top of the hill and the Lamb was offered, the Covenant was sealed and the long, seemingly endless Mission to conquer the Land and win the hearts and souls of the Chosen People lay ahead.  The Glorious Resurrection suffused the People with never ending light and brought the Spirit of God into the battle to win the hearts and souls that have been enabled to receive the Message.
That is my view of the Baptism of Jesus.  I know that I have not yet finished my race.  I have not yet been held by the hand like my friend Enoch (Genesis 5, verses 21 through 24).  But when God does take me by the hand and brings me for that walk in the Garden, why would you even dare to cry at my funeral?
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