Today's Gospel: Mark 1:7-11

The Baptism of the Lord

One of John the Baptist’s greatest roles is as forerunner of Jesus, for he announces Jesus’ coming.

In today’s gospel, John the Baptist wants his followers to stop looking to him to find their true satisfaction. He makes it clear that he cannot answer all the longings of their hearts for acceptance and love. Only Someone mightier than he can do that. He humbly recognizes his love as imperfect. All he has is water to baptize with . . . the stuff of himself. What the Christ has, the Spirit, can mightily “tear open the heavens.”

We often do the same: look to relationships with others to fully satisfy us. As wives, mothers, friends, and co-workers, we can cling to others in search for answers to our needs. And similarly we ourselves might find others looking to us to be their savior. That’s a lot of pressure! But herein lies the key: thankfully, we have all already been given a Savior, One mightier than us all.

And how does the Mighty One come? He descends. He descends into our lives, into our “stuff,” into our longings for full satisfaction and peace. Plunging Himself into our muddy Jordan, He comes to experience baptism with us when He has no need of such a cleansing. He descends like a peaceful dove, and says the words of acceptance and love that we all long to hear: “This is my Beloved in whom I am well pleased.” And the Father sees us through His Beloved Son and treats us as His children as well. John, as the forerunner, knew he must point us toward the delight and embrace of the Father.


Do I search for acceptance and love of others only to delight and satisfy me? Do I feel that others look to me for the same?


Dear Lord Jesus, come with your Might, tear open the heavens and let me hear your Voice of love and acceptance for me. Let me imitate your example of humility, so that I can point others to see You as their Mighty Savior!

We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.

Copyright 2015 Cynthia Ann Costello