Sunday, 11 January 2009

Baptism of the Lord, 1st Sunday Ordinary Time, Year B, Shaftesbury

I want to say a few words about what makes someone important –because today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord reveals what was important about Him, and thus is about us.

When someone introduces you to someone new, you often expect them to say the most important thing about you, in a sense, to say WHY you are important and worth meeting.
“This is Harry, he used to be mayor here”
Or, “This is Judy, she’s our best maths teacher”

What people thing is important can sometimes me quite interesting, if not bizarre.
And, of course, we all know there are some people who are quite full of their own sense of importance. “I’m John, but I guess you’ve already heard about me”.

The question I want to focus on, is what is REALLY the important thing about any of us that is worth saying of us?
This is relevant on today’s feast because it was at the Baptism of the Lord Jesus that voice from Heaven first spoke of Him publicly, spoke of Him and introduced Him to the world. And what did that voice of God say about Him and was the important thing to know about Him? “This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you”
Now, sometimes, people can be sceptical of someone you thinks they are important just because their father is important.
However, that does depend on WHOSE son you are. If you are the son of GOD, REALLY the Son of God, that that’s pretty important, and, quite simply, it’s the only important thing to say about Him.
If there really is a Lord God almighty who made everything and directs everything,
Then whoever his son is, is pretty important just in virtue of that!
So, it’s not surprising that this is exactly what was said of Jesus.

Now, for ourselves, this is important too. Because this thing that is what was important about Jesus is also what is important about all of those who belong to Jesus –we too have God as our Father.
Not everyone in the world has God as their Father.
Everyone in the world has God as their Lord, as master.
But the family relationship of father-child, only comes to those who choose to be ADOPTED, in Christ, in the ONE Son of the Father.
This is what we see in Scripture -this privileged title ’Father’ only belongs to Christians.

Why am I important? Is it because I’m better looking than Brad Pit, or because I have the dignity of being a son of God?
Many of us have times when we feel we’re not important because we lack one of the things we mistakenly think real important lies in: we lack the better job we aspire to, or the better house, or car, or more beautiful wife.
We feel unimportant because we judge ourselves by something ephemeral, not the one solid thing that really counts –my relationship with God.

If I want to remember why I am important, it’s because God has freely chosen to adopt me as His son. He didn’t have to, but he chose to.
And if I’m introduced to someone, others may not mention it, it is actually the one truly important thing worth saying about me.
And if GOD was to introduce me, what he’d say is, “You are my son, the beloved”.

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