"This is my beloved daughter: an image reflection" by Katie Woltornist (CatholicMom.com) By José de Ribera: Le Baptême du Christ [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]The wheel above my head squeaks as I slowly pull the rope, raising my water jar from the bottom of the well. Wiping the sweat from my forehead, I sigh in relief and think about today’s plans. I grab the lip of my water jar. It is such refreshment to touch the cool stone as I lift it out of the well. Then, I hear it.
“Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2)
My heart races. These words strike me as important. The noise seems to be coming from the left … from the Jordan River. I can’t resist these words. Immediately, I leave my jar beside the well. I wipe my wet hands on my tunic and rush to the crowd. What is happening? Jesus of Nazareth. Walking through the village day by day I would see him…I remember playing with his cousins as a child. I recall the beauty of his carpentry. Thoughts pass through my mind. “What is he doing here at the river? Why is there such a crowd?” John, his cousin, takes water in hand and pours it over him. Jesus looks to me. As a dove comes down upon him, I hear these words: “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” In awe, I fall to my knees. I thought I had known this man all my life … only now do I realize -- He is not just a carpenter. Jesus of Nazareth is someone much greater … As I pray with this image, I am faced with a question: Who am I? All my accomplishments, all I feel I have done for others, all my gifts and talents… I can often identify myself with these things. But, if I do this, my heart is left unsatisfied. In this moment of Jesus’ life, there is something profound occurring. Before his ministry, before any of his miraculous deeds, Jesus receives the gift of who he is. Before the miracle at Cana, the healing of the blind man, or the raising of Lazarus, this moment of Jesus’ Baptism was necessary to come first. In this moment, Jesus reveals himself to others- not as a miracle worker- but as a Son. As women, our hearts yearn to love and be loved. But due to original sin, a struggle can be present in our hearts. We can often feel that we need to earn love. My Sister in Christ, do you see this in your heart? Do not be afraid. Jesus is meeting you here. He reveals His identity to you so you can receive yours. Gaze on this image as you bring your heart to Him. What does Jesus say as He gazes at you? What does He reveal about the Father’s love for you? The Father says the same words to you, “This is my Beloved Daughter in whom I am well pleased!” My dear Sister, as you pray with this image today, let these words sit with your heart. Let them soak into your being.
Copyright 2018 Katie Woltornist