Luke 3: 15-16 21-22

The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, “Could this John be the Messiah?

But John intervened: “I’m baptising you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house – make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”

There was a lot more of this – words that gave strength to the people, words that put heart in them. The Message! But Herod, the ruler, stung by John’s rebuke in the matter of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, capped his long string of evil deeds with this outrage: He put John in jail.

After all the people were baptised, Jesus was baptised. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice:
“You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

Gospel Reflection

I wonder if expectancy was also growing in Jesus? If his faith, that had taught him love, trust and integrity, had also told him that there was something else, a place waiting to be filled. And then he set out to find the One who would change his life.

The Holy Spirit could have come on him in Nazareth, while he was in the workshop, John the Baptist could have come and found him. But God seems to appreciate people making the effort – even His Son; the journeys of Abraham and Moses, journeys that enrich the spirit through experience, trials, failure and fulfilment. It is not the Baptism that fulfils this part of the mission but the prayer. Jesus realising that that this is only the beginning; the opening of a door to something more.

As human beings we grow through both achievements and failures of a journey, becoming more and more aware of ourselves; and realising our need of God. God holding us and God within us.

The Holy Spirit will find a way into a willing heart–whether it is the drip, drip, drip of a prayerful life, or a dam-busting conversion. The Spirit will come upon us – and in our own way – we become like Jesus – extraordinary- filled with Grace, a part of the One who is loves us. Next week we enter Ordinary Time again; may I suggest that we don’t. We know that the One has come. Let’s live as if we believe it; that the Kingdom is here; that we live in an Extraordinary Time.