Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

At the beginning of the liturgy, Dave introduced the three readings in a very effective way by pointing out to us how they call us to allow ourselves to change — to be open to change in our lives. I hope to reinforce what Dave said at the beginning as I reflect on these Scripture lessons with you, as we try to listen to them together and see what they’re saying to us this morning.

Perhaps I can give some, and will try to give some, very specific and maybe challenging ways in which we have to try to change. But first of all, I think it’s important, as we listen to the Gospel today, to realize that what we’re being reminded of once more is the profound mystery that we celebrate at Christmas: the mystery that Jesus is fully human and yet at the same time divine — truly God — son of Mary, but also son of God.

Matthew is reinforcing that in today’s Gospel when he describes that exchange that takes place between John and Jesus. John’s saying, “Why do you come to me to be baptized? I should be baptized by you,” and Jesus says, “It’s OK; it’s OK. Let’s do it now to make all righteousness be fulfilled,” which is a way of saying that we may follow God’s will. So John consents and baptizes Jesus.

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