Trinity: Loving relationship defines God

A REFLECTION

THE CLEANSING WATERS OF RE-BIRTH. In Luke’s Gospel, the baptism of Jesus marks the end of the ministry of John the Baptist and the beginning of a new era, that of the saving ministry of Jesus. This feast, which occurs early in the New Year, is a good time for us to resolve to begin a new era in our own lives. Putting the past behind us, let us commit ourselves to making a fresh start in our service and love of our brothers and sisters.

 

REFLECTIONS ON THE GOSPEL

                                                         THE DIVINE COMMUNION

                                                                        OF LOVE

The feasts of Christmastide celebrate some aspect of the revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Christmas celebrates Christ’s revelation to Israel. Epiphany celebrates his revelation to the nations. Today’s feast of the Baptism celebrates the revelation of God as Holy Trinity.

It is important then to bring out this Trinitarian aspect of Christ’s baptism. What occurs after Jesus has emerged from the water is more significant than the actual baptism itself.

In St Luke’s account Jesus is at prayer following his baptism. Prayer for Luke pierces the barrier between heaven and earth, accessing the realm of God. The heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus in bodily (that is, visible) shape like a dove. The Voice that then comes from heaven is that of the Father, assuring Jesus that he is the Beloved Son, on whom the Father’s favour rests.

So what we should find in the scene is a revelation, not in inaccessible heavenly remoteness but here on earth, of the Holy Trinity – Father (‘Voice’), Son, and Spirit – as a divine communion of love.

This sense of being love and favoured by the Father will be the ’enginne’ empowering the ministry of Jesus now about to begin. His role will be to draw human beings under that divine declaration of love, making all the baptised beloved sons and daughters of God. In this sense, as John points out, he will ‘baptise with the Holy Spirit  and with fire’ – the ‘fire’ of divine love that is the Holy Spirit.

Brendan Byrne, SJ

Be Bold. Be Strong

MORNING PRAYER

Special people in our lives sometimes leave us

because of broken relationships or through death.

During times like these we ask God to help us be

strong and brave and to get through this difficult time.

We ask God to make us more supportive to those

suffering great pain through loss of a loved one.

There are times when we have to accept the pain

of losing a loved one and learn to live on in a

changed world.

Amen.

MORNING PRAYER

Eternal God, we praise you for the immensity of your love poured into creation. We praise you for your joyful power of love which is ours in your rushing Spirit – the source of our being, light that enlightens us, and life of everything that lives. Let our lips, now be enkindled with praise; our minds enlightened, and our hearts set on fire with love, as you shine on us with your Spirit’s grace, and point us toward the future.

Amen.

MORNING PRAYER

All powerful Love,

your lovely Son has come again

and is the first fruit

of the harvest of the dead.

Blessed are those who mourn;

they are comforted!

Blessed are the merciful;

they obtain mercy!

Blessed are the pure in heart;

they see God!

Hallelujah!