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Primo Mystery of light: Baptism di Jesus

of p. Ottavio De Bertolis sj

While we retrace the ten Hail Marys with our lips, we follow with the eyes of our hearts this mystery, which marks the beginning of the public life of Jesus. We contemplate it together with that sorrowful crowd of sinners, those in trouble, "beggars of God" who goes to be baptized.

Jesus does not need a baptism, but he comes to baptize us in the power of the Holy Spirit; that is, he descends into the waters so that they receive his Spirit, so that they can therefore make effective the Baptism that we ourselves have received, which is being buried with him in order to be resurrected with him. 

He therefore immerses himself in the waters so that we can be immersed in him; he shares in the poverty of our humanity so that we can all share in his riches as the Son of God. "For out of his fullness we have all received" (Jn 1:16).

Jesus is proclaimed "Son" by the Father, while the Holy Spirit descends upon him. He is proclaimed not because he was not already there before, but so that he was manifested to everyone what he has always been. The Spirit descends on the Son not because he had not already descended all along, but to show that he had always been on him. Rather, he now passes from the Son and almost descends on all of us, baptized in the name of the three divine Persons . In this way, we can say that the Baptism of Jesus - in which his very consecration to the Father, his mission and role as Son is revealed to the world - now also becomes ours, it consecrates us like him and enables us, therefore that is, to be children like him.

The Spirit, who has always been on Jesus and who manifested himself in Baptism, is now on us and moves us and pushes us to act like him, to choose for us what Christ chose and desired for us; in other words, to live as: "For whoever says he abides in Christ must behave as he behaved" (1 John 2:6). Baptism makes us the children of light and day, just as Christ is the true light and the true day; the Spirit drives away from us the works of darkness, fruitless and dead, to make us live in the true life that is Jesus, who said: "I am the way, the truth and the life" (Jn 14, 6 ).

Contemplating the Baptism of Jesus is therefore reliving our Baptism, it is giving thanks for our prowess, because we are no longer strangers to God, nor even more or less unwelcome and more or less paying guests, but those who have always been welcomed. and forever. Just as every father is "for" his child, whatever happens or he does, so God is "for" us, whatever we may do, since it was not we who loved God, but it was he who loved us for first. Being the children of God, that is, being able to live in a direct, immediate, trusting, intimate and personal relationship with him, is our radical consecration, from which all other possible consecrations or particular vocations flow: the matrimonial one, the priestly one or religious, and others; we can therefore ask for the grace to discover or rediscover our vocation, our being "children", and therefore - which is the same thing - rediscover the love of God.

We can also pray for this painful humanity, which immerses itself in the river of pain and human fatigue: as the sky opens at the Baptism of Jesus, so may the sky of our hearts, of our consciences, open to hear the word of the Father : «Listen to him». Let's think about how many "closed skies" exist, that is, closed hearts, hardened by superficiality, sin or simply indifference.

It is the Spirit who bears witness, therefore listening and welcoming Jesus are not the work of human persuasion, but the fruit of the grace of the Holy Spirit. With Mary we therefore pray asking for this Spirit, asking him to bring us the word of the Father, that word we need, which is his own Son. In fact, the Spirit reminds us of everything he told us; the Spirit opens to listening, and through him that word is fulfilled which states: "He sent the word of him and healed them, saved them from destruction" (Ps 107, 20).

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