Sunday, January 13, 2013

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker 

Trivia question of the day: "Who baptized Jesus in the Jordan?" It depends.

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John it is clearly John the Baptist who does so. But in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 3:19-20), Herod has locked John up in prison. In Verses 21-22, John's name is not mentioned nor is anyone else – except the Holy Spirit.

For Luke, the Holy Spirit is very active, especially in the infancy narrative. The Spirit moved Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth, Simeon, and most likely, Anna. The Spirit was indeed busy. The Spirit is so obviously present, seemingly the only active agent at Jesus' baptism. Luke gives us a Jesus so keenly in tune with and guided by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes such a unique and central role in the whole Gospel of Luke.

This continues on in Luke’s Acts of the Apostles, where we discover a spirit-led church that is born in the Spirit and grows rapidly and charismatically through the action of the Spirit.

The Spirit, so much at the center of Jesus' life and the beginning of his ministry, is the same Spirit that is central to the life of every Christian and his/her ministry. Just how aware are we of the Spirit's action in our lives? Do we know how to listen and respond? This feast of the Baptism of the Lord invites us to notice the central role of the Holy Spirit in our faith and lives.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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