Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

“And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
’This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” (Mt 3:13-17)

Today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. We learn of the voice from heaven with the proclamation, and similar messages actually appear in many occasions in the Gospel. “You are my beloved. On you my favor rests.” We may wonder, Is it possible for us to hear the same “mysterious” voice addressing us as “beloved”? Wouldn’t that be nice?

The answer is a resounding yes. Henri Nouwen put it best when he explained, “that the voice from heaven was not speaking just to Jesus or about Jesus. The voice is also speaking to us and about us. We, too, have been anointed as the beloved sons and daughters of God.”

How blissful, that we, like Christ, are God’s beloved children. In us, God is well pleased. Clearly, this is the highest form of blessing we humans may receive.

Maybe we were too little when we got baptized as a baby, so we weren’t aware of that voice. Or, in my case, I probably have been so “deaf” for a long time - I didn’t know how to open my ears to hear any holy voice or to receive any signals from God!

Thanks to the Grace of God, lately, in my prayer and meditation, I came to experience that incredible loving message! I'm grateful for the popular spiritual teaching, “It is only in silence that God's voice can be heard.” Mother Teresa elaborated, “God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, grass, grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” So simple and simplistic, and so true! Only when I set aside a time and a place to be with God and for God, in silence, I truly feel that God reaches down to speak to me in sweet, soft, intimate, caring, healing and forgiving tone; with no fanfare, God’s voice just enters my soul, my heart and my mind, in a very quiet and peaceful way!

May we learn to embrace silence and solitude, so that we can listen to God’s incredible voice of Love. May we experience the blessing and the presence of our God Immanuel – God-is-with-us… May we always be grateful for our enormous gift that we’re anointed as God’s beloved children.


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