By Fr. Andrew Kelly
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD – JAN. 13
John the Baptizer proclaims in Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 3:15-16, 21-22) that a more powerful One is coming who “… will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” That “One” is Jesus.
Jesus, immediately after baptism, enters into prayer.
In prayer “…the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in bodily form like a dove.”
In prayer, Jesus heard the voice of God: “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
If Jesus needed prayer after baptism to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to hear God’s voice, what does that say about prayer in the life of baptized believers?
Jesus in prayer spoke no words. It was only in stillness and silence that God filled Jesus with the Spirit; and Jesus heard God speak.
Thus believers’ prayer is not about words, but about stillness and silence so God can do to believers what God did to Jesus.
A monk once described the look of prayer that is easily applied both to Jesus and Jesus’ followers:
“Their eyes are wide, absorbed in the Beatific Vision; their mouths closed in silent contemplation; their ears uncovered in rapt attention to the Word of God.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Jan. 13-20
Is 42:1-4, 6-7 Or Is 40:1-5, 9-11
Acts 10:34-38 or Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7
Lk 3:15-16, 21-22
Heb 4:1-5, 11
1 Cor 12:4-11