A letter from Archbishop Hiltz on the future of his primacy

January 7, 2018

The Baptism of the Lord

Dear Friends:

On this Sunday, right on the heels of The Feast of the Epiphany we find ourselves at the Jordan River remembering The Baptism of the Lord. We recall how he insisted that John take him into those waters. We hear again that voice from heaven as he rose up from his transitory burial, ”This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3:17) We remember that the Spirit descended and rested upon him like a dove, and then within days drove him out into the wilderness beyond Jordan. There he fasted for forty days and nights. The evangelists speak of that time as His Temptation in the Wilderness. Many biblical scholars speak of it as a time of spiritual discernment as to the nature of his mission. It was clearly a time of spiritual wrestling, marked by a deepening awareness of his identity as the Servant of God, The Anointed One who would announce good tidings and publish peace, saying to Zion, “Your God reigns”. (Isaiah 52:7) From those days in the wilderness, he would come in the power of the Spirit into Galilee proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, teaching the people in their synagogues and healing the sick among them. So began his public ministry.

As we celebrate Our Lord’s Baptism we recall our own. We are reminded of who we are, the Beloved of God in Christ and what our work is in our own communities and in the world. It is an opportunity at the very outset of a new year to reaffirm our commitments to the many ministries that accompany our vows in baptism.

 

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