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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

09 January 2024

Mk 1:7-11 - ...It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized in the Jordan by John. ...

Mk 1:7-11

This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens,
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”


Water is an element full of paradoxes. On one hand it gives life to the plants, the animals and the peoples. Without water we cannot live more than few days, but on the other hand it water brings death and destruction during flood or by enormous waves named tsunami. The meaning of water is highlighted in the Bible at the beginning of creation when God separated the waters from the ground. Jesus is submerged in the water of Jordan river as we see in the Gospel. Before His public activity, before all miracles and glorious deeds, before the words of preaching Jesus is baptized in Jordan by John the Baptist. Like many other peoples before Him, Jesus let water to touch His Holy head, to be cleansed like sinners being without any sin. Through this sign He showed the importance of spiritual bathe of the dirt of sin which we call the baptism. Every one of us received at the beginning of life the same bathe, not in Jordan, but in the Church. Everyone was baptized, not by John the Baptist but by a priest, who represented Jesus Christ. This bathe cleansed us from the original sin, the first filth in our spiritual life, the first flaw on our soul with which we come into this world so that we may be consecrated to God, that we may become His special value as His children. The baptism is not only a spectacle, a ceremony or a tradition but a vocation, a commitment (obligation) a concrete mission which we will realize during all our life, till our last breath in this world. We know that all the great rivers take their beginning from the small spring, flowing from the mountains. The same rivers after destroying all on their way, ruin the cities, move the cars and trucks, tear the roads. Amazing and immeasurable force coming from something small and calm. The same with your faith. It is like a great and powerful river, which can wash off your sins, moves you to change your life, to pray and confess your evil, to support all your sufferings, a loss of someone beloved, but at the beginning of all of this is a small spring called your baptism. Your internal strength, internal current, which directs your life on (to) God. If you will direct the spring of your baptism in the right direction, like the people do with rivers building the canals and dams, you can be sure that your life will be well irrigated, full of love, trust, patience, peace and mercy. Your faith, like river will bring you a happiness, perseverance in sufferings and courage in difficulties. But if you neglect your baptism wasting God’s grace as people waste water, your life becomes a drought and your heart changes in desert. 5000 years ago, the Sahara desert was full of water, the plants and the animals, it was a Paradise. Today this place is the pile of sand, burned by aggressive sun, hot, without life, empty. It is almost impossible to find a water there. How is my heart today? How is it look like: like a fertile land or like a desert? Is the spring of baptism which has begun my Christian life a few years ago or even before has become a great river of faith or an empty desert? What we bring into our hearts, we who belong to Christ: life or death, love or hate, grace or sin? The most beautiful flower will die if you stop to watered it, the same with your faith. We cannot wither, you can’t wither in your faith because you will die. You must water your spirit with your prayer, confession, Holy Communion, you who are baptized, you must live! Why? Because God needs you! For what? Listen to the words of the first reading from the book of Isaiah: I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. You must live in faith to help those who lost their faith, to open their eyes on God, to show His light for those who live in darkness of sin. How will you do this being blind yourself, living in sin, denying your choice by God? Tell me: do you know the date of your baptism? Do you know exactly this precious date of your birth for God, for faith? I don’t ask about your birthday when you left your mother’s womb in the hospital, I’m thinking about your baptism day, when your parents brought you to the church. I know mine, do you know yours? Can you remember the name of the priest who gave you this sacrament? Did you ever ask your parents for his name? Did you ever thank God for your parents and God-parents that they confirmed your life to God? Let us not be baptized only on a paper in a parish register, let us not think about our baptism when we need the scrap for the sacrament of confirmation or marriage. May our baptism become like water, something that we can’t live without.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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