We are all 'beloved' children of God; how does that impact our words and actions?
by Sister Francis Bangert
January 10, 2021, in the Christian world marks both endings and beginnings. Today’s feast of the Baptism of Jesus brings to a close the rich, liturgical celebration of the Advent season of waiting and the Christmas season of fulfillment — God breaking into human history — God with us — Emmanuel.
Also today, this feast celebrates the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Mark, in his Gospel, shows “Jesus coming up out of the water and seeing the heavens being torn open ”… a sign that God’s vision is about to be revealed. Then the Spirit like a dove descends upon him and a voice comes from the heavens: “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” The voice of the Father, the human Jesus, and the Spirit Love between them, the Trinity, is the gifted relationship that is ours celebrated in our baptism. Like Jesus, we are beloved sons and daughters of this Most High One, blessed with dignity and pleasing in the eyes of our Creator.
Can we grasp the depth of this mystery? Inherent in this gift is a mission to bring forth justice for the oppressed. What are the implications?
Every man, woman, and child is a beloved person. There are no barriers in God’s vision for humans: not language, color, race, sexual preference, political status, age, wars. Imagine what our world would look like if we REALLY lived out of God’s vision for us. Perhaps, our many losses and traumas with COVID which has brought death to over 360,000 U.S. people will awaken us to a new reality ... a new beginning in how we treat one another with dignity, with respect, with compassion, especially being a voice for the voiceless.
We now have 34 weeks of Ordinary Time to put into practice what we’ve just celebrated in Advent and Christmas. What will be different in the way we relate to others with God’s vision?