Monday, January 31, 2011

Matthew 3: The Baptism

I love the end of Matthew 3, that great story in Mark, Matthew and Luke of Jesus being baptized, and in that way, proclaimed God's Son.  If you're ever looking for a rich source of prayer, go to that passage, but instead of Jesus being the one that goes into the water, let it be you.  Let yourself hear God say those words  to you: This is my Son (or Daughter), my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.

From a bookish scripture-y perspective, I notice this time around how this is another way Matthew tries to force us to see, hey, this guy Jesus we keep hearing about -- he's the real thing.  Seriously, the man has yet to lift a loaf or preach a sermon, and we've already been told in so many ways. "Scripture says", an origin story that very closely echoes god-man stories in other Ancient Near Eastern cultures, angels revealing secrets in dreams.  

And now,  for all y'all haters out there that keep denyin, doubt no further -- God himself speaks! (Hello, four of a kind, say hello to my royal flush.) There's a comedy bit in there somewhere, with a Woody Allen character who doesn't get it even then. "So, when you say he's your son, what exactly do you mean?" "And well pleased -- how happy is that, would you say?"


Dan KP said...

Fr Jim,

Thank you for inviting us to try Ignatian contemplation in this passage. I find this to be a very powerful form of prayer and it always bears full and rich fruit when I use it. I have just finished reading Fr. James Martin's book, "The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything" and I am completely hooked on trying to be a contemplative in action. Thanks!

Jim McDermott, SJ said...

Hey Dan, thanks for your comment. Really glad you liked it. And glad you're liking Jim's book. He's a marvelous writer!

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