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January 10, 2015 - The Baptism of the Lord - Fr. Reggie

St Luke tells us that at the time of Jesus’ baptism, which marked the beginning of his public ministry, the people were “filled with expectation.”

There were two reasons for this. First, rumor had it that according to the prophecies of Daniel, the time was ripe for the arrival of the promised Messiah, the King anointed by God to restore the independence and greatness of the long-suffering people of Israel. Scholars at the time didn’t agree about the actual characteristics and identifying marks of that Messiah, but a sense that the time had come was widespread. Second, no true prophet had arisen in Israel in over two centuries. And so, when John the Baptist came onto the scene, they knew something big was afoot. Many hoped that he himself was the Messiah.

The prophecy of Daniel and the preaching of John the Baptist, then, were cleardramatic signs sent by God to indicate the coming of Jesus.

Even so, Christ found a welcome in only a few hearts; the majority gave him up to be crucified.

Why?

Could it be that the people of Israel were expecting one kind of Lord, and God wanted to give them another?

We often fall into the same trap; we know clearly the things we want, but God sends us others, and we resent it. But if Jesus is truly the Lord, and if the greatest prophet of all time was not even worthy to “loosen the thongs of his sandals” (a job reserved to slaves at the time), why do we expect him to do things our way? Why do we expect him to adjust to our schedule? Isn’t it possible that he knows better?

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