Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Matthew 3:13-17
Isa 42:1-4,6-7/Ps 29/Acts 10:34-38

Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.
(Matthew 3:15)

Lord, let your Holy Spirit come
So that Your Word He may reveal;
And let His Baptism be done
That clearly we may see Your will.

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan river to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. After Jesus was baptized, He came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

Reflection

One of the most Spirit-inspired acts of St. John Paul II for which he will always be remembered is his introduction of the Luminous Mysteries in our Holy Rosary. This fourth mystery begins in the river Jordan, where Jesus is baptized by St. John with water and with the Holy Spirit by God the Father. This event ‘launched’ the public ministry of our Lord.

Ever since we received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in our Brotherhood’s Christian Life Program, many of us have given testimonies on how we have been able to perform tasks that previously we would have found difficult and even avoided before joining the renewal. The Holy Spirit has given us the inspiration, the will and the wisdom, and even the perseverance to serve well in our community. Now, no work or mission for the Lord is too daunting, nor do we claim any accomplishment to our credit. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit Who works in us. This realization fills us with joy because God’s love is manifested through the work of His Holy Spirit in our lives.

On the other hand, we have seen other people unknowingly reveal their weaknesses by relying on another kind of spirit –- alcoholic drinks. They say a few shots of brandy or whisky will give them confidence to face an audience, or to enjoy the company of friends and strangers in a social gathering. Such a weakness leads to a worse problem, which is addiction. Dependence on alcohol, drugs, or other mind-altering substances are expressions of denying the power of God which has been given to each one of us. St. Paul wrote to the Philippians (4:13) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The power of God’s Spirit is sufficient for us to make us strong. No other power in this world comes near.

Come Holy Spirit, descend upon our community, as You did on Pentecost and during the Baptism of our Savior in the river Jordan. Nurture us with Your love, that we may be filled with joy and enthusiasm in the works that God assigns us in His ministry. Amen.

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