Veritas PH

The WORD. The TRUTH.

Becoming an adult Jesus Nazareno at Christmas

SHARE THE TRUTH

 143 total views

Today’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord closes the Christmas Season in the most unique way as we are again in another surge of COVID-19 while for the first time, not even during these past two years of pandemic, people are totally barred from celebrating the Mass outside the Quiapo church for the feast of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno or the Black Nazarene.

It is the second consecutive year due to pandemic that there is no Traslacion of the Poon Nazareno but whereas before despite COVID-19 all roads led to Quiapo every January 09, all devotees today are directed to the website of the Minor Basilica of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno to celebrate the hourly online Masses from dawn until late night tonight.

Police and Church officials have appealed to the public to stay home with the Archbishop of Manila assuring devotees of the grace and blessings still being granted to them by the Señor Nazareno through the “modern means of communications”.

Here we find a most wonderful grace of God for us to mature into an “adult Jesus” in this time still in the Christmas Season when we are invited to put some spirituality to our devotions that are both amazing but baffling even to us. How can we so devoutly Catholic as a nation be blind to all the corruption and disrespect for life going on in our country that we cannot progress like other Asian nations made worst by our choices of leaders in government?

As we close the Christmas Season before going into Ordinary Time tomorrow, let us not remain children but become adults like Jesus Christ when baptized at Jordan by John.

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 3:21-22

Photo by author, Ubihan River, Meycauayan, Bulacan, 31 December 2021.

Jesus as “one of us”, present among us

All four evangelists have their particular emphasis in narrating the baptism of Jesus at Jordan by John. For this year, we look into Luke’s version that celebrates the anointing and royal investiture of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.

Though there is no need for him to be baptized, Christ’s baptism at Jordan signified his solidarity with us sinners making us share in the gift of the Spirit he had received on that day, making each of us a “beloved child” of God with whom he is well pleased!

First thing we notice with Luke’s baptism account is the Lord being incognito during the baptism by John. There were no conversations or “debate” with John as Jesus was readily presented as among the crowd. It is a beautiful imagery by Luke of the Christ always present but unknown among us.

Jesus being with the people in Jordan River reminds us that Christmas does not mean only of him remaining a child lying in a manger because part of this season’s story is how he grew up and matured in wisdom and spirit in Nazareth, Galilee before embarking on his ministry and mission.

Imagine the Lord joining the sinners like tax collectors, soldiers, and perhaps with some prostitutes going to John for baptism without any special treatment whatsoever. From the very start, Jesus had been eating and conversing, interacting and living with sinners that include us today.

Photo by author of sisters posing along the Israeli border near Al-Maghtas in Jordan, the site where Jesus was baptized, May 2019.

His being immersed in Jordan River (that has always been dirty according to our pilgrimage guide) with the sinful people was a testament of his love and kindness for us without any hints of being judgmental to anyone. Whether we are in dire situations or in the midst of sins and evil or darkness and sufferings, we can always find Jesus standing with us, one with us, even reaching out to us. All we need is to be matured enough to open our eyes and our hearts like the people around him to admit we need conversion, we need God.

Second thing we immediately notice with Luke’s baptism account is Jesus at prayer when the heaven opened and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon him with a voice declaring, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased”.

One distinct characteristic of Luke’s gospel is presenting Jesus always at prayer. In fact, all major events in his life in Luke’s gospel are always preceded by prayer, part of his artistry in teaching us about the importance of prayer.

Here in the baptism of Jesus at Jordan, we are reminded that prayer always precedes every divine revelation. Recall also during the Feast of the Holy Family a day after Christmas last year when we heard Luke’s account of the finding of Jesus at the temple when he told Mary how he must be at his “Father’s house” – of being one and united with the Father especially through prayer! The Christmas story is an everyday reality that happens with those who mature in their faith in Christ in prayers.

Prayer is more than the recitation of prayers and novenas nor of keeping a devotion; prayer is oneness with God. See that after narrating to us the baptism of Jesus at Jordan, Luke tells us the Lord’s genealogy traced back to “Adam the son of God”(Lk.3:38). Unlike Matthew who began his gospel with the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Luke puts his version of the Lord’s genealogy in the context of baptism at Jordan to show us Christ’s eternal birth in God. And this we all share in our Baptism, in our faith we nurture and celebrate daily in our prayer life.

The sad thing with our Christmas celebrations, along with that of the Holy Week, is how we immediately lose sight of the meanings of our feasts and devotions meant to make our lives centered on God. It is good to be led and carried by the signs of our liturgy but these were meant to inculcate in us, to deepen in us our relationship with God expressed through our relations with others which is what spirituality is all about.

This invites us today on this Feast of the Lord’s Baptism along with that of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo to examine our level of maturity in Jesus Christ whom we religiously and devoutly remember and celebrate during Christmas and Good Friday, the two most prominent dates of the Lord’s feasts tied up in this month of January.

Photo by Mr. Jay Javier, Quiapo, 09 January 2020.

Like Jesus Nazareno, we are consecrated to God

As we have mentioned at the start of our reflection, this is a most unique Sunday when we celebrate together two Christ feasts – the Lord’s Baptism and the Traslacion in Quiapo – with the former signaling the closing of Christmas and the latter as the most popular Christ devotion in the country.

Both feasts show us an adult Jesus in Christmas, especially the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.

When Matthew spoke of the Holy Family residing in Nazareth so that what the prophets spoke might be fulfilled that “He shall be called a Nazarene” (Mt.2:23), the evangelist was not referring to the Lord’s place of origin.

Nazareth is the only town in the New Testament never mentioned in the Old Testament to be of significance unlike Bethlehem. The word “Nazoraios” or Nazarene mentioned by Matthew refers to the overall designation of Jesus by the prophets as the hope and fulfillment of God’s promise that there shall come forth a “shoot from the stump of Jesse” (Is. 11:1)Shoot in Hebrew is from the word nezer which is also the context used by Isaiah in chapters 7 and 9 found in Isaiah 11:1 cited by Matthew.

If we add that in the inscription above the Cross, Jesus is called ho Nazoraios (cf. Jn.19:19), then the title acquires its full resonance: what at first sight refers simply to his origin, actually points to his essence: he is the “shoot,” he is the one completely consecrated to God, from his mother’s womb to the day of his death.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, pp. 117-118.

Now we get a complete picture of an adult Jesus Christ at the closing of Christmas Season.

Truly an Emmanuel, God-with-us, whom we so often fail to recognize journeying with us in life specially at its most difficult moments because we continue to refuse to grow and deepen in our spiritual maturity in him in prayers.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the first reading telling us “Here is your God! Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care” (Is.40:9, 11).

Let us heed the calls by St. Paul in the second reading that we “reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13).

Have a blessed and safe week ahead, everyone! Amen.

Photo from Google.com.
Screenshot 2024-04-26 121114
ads
ads
2
3
4
previous arrow
next arrow

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

Green Transport

 4,769 total views

 4,769 total views Kapanalig, marami ang nagpapasalamat ngayon na may opsyon na tayong maka-work from home. Ang public transport sa ating mga syudad ngayon ay lubhang malupit na, lalo para sa mga maralitang Pilipino. Dahil sa iba iba ang uri ng ating kabuhayan, marami pa rin sa atin ang no choice – kapit patalim, kapit tuko

Read More »

Inclusive Education

 10,742 total views

 10,742 total views Kapanalig, isa sa mga senyales na maganda ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa isang lipunan ay ang pagiging inclusive o mapagbilang nito – yung lahat ay may ready access kahit saan man siya nandoon, kahit ano pang kasarian niya, at kakayahan. Kasama dito, kapanalig, ang access ng mga vulnerable populations at disabled people. Kung

Read More »

Sports at Kabataan

 16,497 total views

 16,497 total views Kapanalig, katatapos lamang ng Palarong Pambansa – isang national activity, na sana’y lagi nating nabibigyan ng suporta. Malaking bagay ito, hindi lamang para sa mga kabataan, kundi para sa nation building at national pride. Kailangang manatiling malaki at mahalaga ang papel ng sports sa buhay ng kabataan sa sa ating bansa. Unang una,

Read More »

Responsableng kasiyahan

 23,760 total views

 23,760 total views Mga Kapanalig, humupa na ang kontrobersyal na pagdiriwang ng tinatawag na “Wattah Wattah Festival” sa Lungsod ng San Juan.  Halos isang buwan na rin ang nakalipas nang ipagdiwang ito ng mga kababayan natin sa San Juan. Kasama sa tradisyon tuwing sumasapit ang kapistahan ni San Juan Bautista ang basaan ng mga namimiyesta. Iyon

Read More »

Kalidad ng pagtuturo

 31,745 total views

 31,745 total views Mga Kapanalig, itinalaga na ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, Jr si Senador Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara bilang bagong kalihim o secretary ng Department of Education kapalit ni Vice President Sara Duterte. Sa isang editoryal, binanggit natin ang kahilingan ng ilang grupo ng mga guro na sana, ang bagong kalihim ng DepEd ay isang educator

Read More »
catholink
Shadow
truthshop
Shadow

Related Story

Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Put life in order

 359 total views

 359 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 19 July 2024 Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8 <*((((>< + ><))))*> Matthew 12:1-8 Photo by author, somewhere in Bgy. Kaysuyo, Alfonso, Cavite, 27 April 2024. When Hezekiah was

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

God, our dew of light

 357 total views

 357 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 18 July 2024 Isaiah 26: 7-9, 12, 16-19 <‘[[[[>< + ><]]]]’> Matthew 11:28-30 Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Your words today, O God, are so refreshing that I

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

God has the whole world in His hands

 930 total views

 930 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 17 July 2024 Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16 ><))))*> + ><))))*> + ><))))*> Matthew11:25-27 Photo by Dra. Mylene A. Santos, MD in Infanta, Quezon 2020. Praise and glory to

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Firm faith, firm self

 1,269 total views

 1,269 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 16 July 2024 Isaiah 7:1-9 <*((((>< M+ ><))))*> Matthew 11:20-24 Photo by author, Holy Family Monastery of Our Lady of Carmel, Guiguinto, Bulacan 2019. Thank You, dear God our

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

“Bring me”…

 1,268 total views

 1,268 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday, Memorial of St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church, 15 July 2024 Isaiah 1:10-17 <*((((>< + ><))))*> Matthew 10:34-11:1 Photo from The Valenzuela Times, 02 July 2024. On this blessed Monday, your word “bring” invites me to

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Travelling in Christ, with Christ

 1,839 total views

 1,839 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 14 July 2024 Amos 7:12-15 ><}}}*> Ephesians 1:3-24 ><}}}*> Mark 6:7-13 Photo by Jason Toevs on Pexels.com It is always easy to spot any flight back to Manila if you happen

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Words, words, words…

 2,528 total views

 2,528 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 12 July 2024 Hosea 14:2-10 <*[[[[><< + >><]]]]*> Matthew 10:16-23 Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com Thus says the Lord: Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Our hands, a gospel in themselves

 4,316 total views

 4,316 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday, Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbott, 11 July 2024 Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9 <*[[[[>< + ><]]]]*> Matthew 10:7-15 Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

First we learn, then we are sent

 3,236 total views

 3,236 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 10 July 2024 Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12 <*((((>< + ><))))*> Matthew 10:1-7 Photo by shy sol on Pexels.com Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Abundant harvest?

 2,317 total views

 2,317 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 09 July 2024 Hose 8:4-7, 11-13 ><))))*> + <*((((>< Matthew 9:32-38 Photo by Onnye on Pexels.com Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Blessedness of desert

 2,566 total views

 2,566 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 08 July 2024 Hosea 2:16,17-18, 21-22 <*((((><< + >><))))*> Matthew 9:18-26 Photo by Walid Ahmad on Pexels.com Thus says the Lord: I will allure her; I will lead

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Our blessed failures

 3,544 total views

 3,544 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 07 July 2024 Ezekiel 2:2-5 ><}}}}*> 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ><}}}}*> Mark 6:1-6 Photo by Mr. Gelo Carpio, Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, January 2020. Last week’s readings clarified with us the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Praying to be prophetic

 3,255 total views

 3,255 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II First Friday in the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 05 July 2024 Amos 8:4-6, 9-12 <*((((><< + >><))))*> Matthew 9:9-13 Photo by Dra. Mylene A. Santos, MD in Infanta, Quezon 2020. Help us, loving Father

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

That crossing again…

 7,687 total views

 7,687 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday in the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 04 July 2024 Amos 7:10-17 <*((((><< + >><))))*> Matthew 9:1-8 Photo by Mr. Raffy Tima, GMA-7 News in Batanes, 2018. Oh how I love the gospel this

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

The gift of communion

 5,034 total views

 5,034 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday, Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle, 03 July 2024 Ephesians 2:19-22 <*{{{{>< + ><}}}}*> John 20:24-29 From the the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas, dolr.org. Praise and glory to You, God our Father for your gift

Read More »

Latest Blogs

Scroll to Top