January 12, 2014 - Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

posted Jan 8, 2014, 10:28 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:18 PM ]

Gospel of Matthew 3: 13-17

Ernest’s Reflection
As I read this gospel reading, the part where John feels like he's not worthy to baptize Jesus really stood out to me.

recap (of how it went down in my head)
Jesus: Baptize me, John.
John: Forreals? You're supposed to be baptizing me? Not the other way around!
Jesus: It's cool, you can do it.
John: Ok, jump in the river.
[enter God]
God: I'm happy.

It was a cool reflection of how humble Jesus is. Although he is  the Son of God, he still thought it was right to have a regular man baptize him.  This made me think of how the new Pope Francis took selfie pictures with teenagers. Dude, you're the pope! What a cool gesture! Its a reminder of how we are all equal, no matter where you stand in our church and in our society. '

This quote that I found online said "You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce." We look so highly at some people that are gifted/talented and Not on our level, but in reality we're more similar than we think!

We always try to argue on who's the best, or who has the better clothes, or who's better at one thing or another. Sure some of us have more  experience and focus in different aspects of life, but we're still all people and human beings and we should remember that.  Humble ourselves like Jesus teaches! And instead of one-upping people, why don't we teach each other to make each of us better?

Jim always taught us in Emmaus that we shouldn't use the word "you" when addressing a group. the word " We" includes all of us, and it recognizes that we're all in this together.

Jeffy's Reflection
As I read the gospel passage, the words that stood out were,"as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove..."

For me, the reading has a sense of a waking. When Jesus came up from the river and opened his eyes, everything was bright and clear. Like when you wake up in the morning and wash your face, you feel awake. Or when you go swimming and when you come up from the water, you clear your eyes to see.

The reading is telling us to wash our eyes of doubt and fear of not seeing God’s presence. When we ask God for something, we want to see it right away and when we don’t get, we get mad. We often ask God, why weren’t you there when I needed you.

God’s presence is around us and we just need to open our eyes a little bit wider. When I was growing my mom had this saying that still makes sense till this day. My mom would ask me to find something and I would say, I can’t find it. "She would then say, "Look with your eyes, not your mouth."

As a society and as Catholics, we tend to look for God where we want him to be. But if we open our eyes and look harder, God is right there with us. God show’s himself to us in ways we are not aware of.

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. In confirmation, we are asked to renew our baptism. Just like Jesus was baptized and saw the Holy Spirit, you too will see the Holy Spirit in your own way. I am reminded of a quote from a movie, “…her Love is like the wind. I can’t see it, but I can feel it." God’s love and presence is right in front of us. We just have be willing to look with our eyes and not our mouth.

Tine's Reflection
A phrase this this week's reading that stood out to me was was John said to Jesus “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”

This stood out to me because it is always an interesting dynamic when assumed roles are changed from the norm. John expected to be baptized, yet it is Jesus who is looking to be baptized by John. I found that to be extremely interesting because as an elementary school teacher, my students find it weird when I say, "I may be the teacher, but I learn from you." I often look to my students for answers and see where their thinking during class discussions will take us. Instead of having a clear-cut route, I let their opinions and voices be heard, dictating where the learning with lead. At first, they had a hard time understanding that I wasn't going to lecture, that I was allowing them to be participants in their learning. Often times, they don't believe that I allow them the open space to discuss classroom topics, much like John didn't believe that Jesus expected him to baptize Jesus.

I see Jesus as a very humble person in this passage. While He is our God, He also realizes that righteousness is to be fulfilled. Much like my classroom, while I am the teacher (and my students recognize that authoritative figure in me), I also realize that giving my students the space to share their thinking and guide their learning is a valuable aspect to their education. Just as Jesus allowed John to baptize Him and be an active participant in the prophecy, I must find a way to teach my students the required material while allowing them to be an active participant in their learning.