Scholars say that the mythic elements in this story– the sky opening, the voice of God, the descent of the Spirit like a dove—are common to spiritual experiences in many religious traditions. What makes Jesus’ unique?
Even in later, more ordinary circumstances, he remained attuned to the source of that experience: to God his father. Whether he was engaged in hot debate, confronting hideous disease, or teaching in the marketplace, Jesus didn’t forget that voice, that spectacular affirmation. He acted always as God’s beloved child. Furthermore, he saw everyone else through that same lens—no matter how cantankerous, sick, or stupid they were.
Do we? When doing dishes or driving, do we remember we are precious? Confronting a crisis, do we carry into it the same qualities that have gotten us this far: our courage, strength or skill? When we’re angry, mistaken, rejected, exhausted, ill, betrayed, depressed, unemployed, or told we’re worthless, does that sense of affirmation rise up within?
What God said to Jesus, God says to us: “you are my dearly beloved child. I’m pleased with you.” That should matter more than all the applause or awards in the world. And we should in turn hear that same description of everyone we meet.
This experience marks a pivotal point for Jesus: he emerges from it energized and inspired for his public ministry. Even in the long desert days, he must hear the echoes of that voice. When we’re tempted to focus on the criticisms, we could turn instead with joy to that life-giving praise.
Kathy will be speaking at:
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church 2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd. San Ramon, CA 94583
TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 10:00-11:30 a.m, on:
“Will the Real Mary Magdalene Stand Up? Stand Back!”
And TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. on:
“Prayer In Chaos, Commotion and Clutter”
All are welcome. Free events require registration. To register, go to https://GIFT2020.EventBrite.com