Monday, May 19, 2008
I apologize that I did not get this written yesterday. Somehow, the day just got away from me!
You may wonder why I used the image of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan to represent the Trinity; what many people don't realize that this is a beautiful expression of the trinity! We have the voice of the Father, we have the Son, and of course, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son "as a dove".
It's a beautiful passage for all of us to meditate upon as we consider the love of the Father, who have His only Son that we may have eternal life. That means that Jesus, as the second person of the Holy Trinity, thus God Himself, descended into the waters of the Jordan.
Why did Jesus, who was without sin, need to be baptized? Because entering the water, descending into the water, represents descending to the netherworld; it represents His acceptance of death. (If you look at icons of Jesus' baptism and compare them to icons of the resurrection, you will see striking similarities!)
At that moment, salvation history continued as Jesus gave His OWN Fiat, taking the sins of the world upon His shoulders, for he descended into the Jordan not for his own sins...but carrying ours. And when He emerged, and the Father's voice boomed across the heavens, and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove, what did He do? He went off into the desert to pray. To ponder these things in His divine, loving heart, and to be tempted.
Jesus gives us an example here; when we believe God is calling us, although the heavens won't open and doves won't descend upon our heads (we hope!), we should recognize that we are at least being called to pray. We have to withdraw, to go "into the desert" to pray, so that we can listen clearly to God. It's the wrong thing to do to immediately jump out and start acting upon what we think we've heard. We may even need help in discerning what we are perceiving.
So, for those who are discerning their Vocations to married life, consecrated life, or the priesthood, it's imperative that they take time out to pray, and if they can, find a good spiritual director to help them sort out their thoughts and even prayers, and help direct them along the path where they will find God's will.