Although today is called the Baptism of the Lord, we might also think of it as his Confirmation. While his baptism is significant because it reminds us that Jesus wants to identify totally with the human family in their brokenness, it is also his confirmation because we hear his Father say, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." Blessed by his Father, Jesus is now ready to go to the ends of the earth and preach the Good News.
For all the baptized, although we sometimes forget this because so many of us were baptized as children, a life of faith is not complete or whole without ministry. For those who learn and know that God's love for them is never ending and complete, ministry is a natural and necessary aspect of their faith life. We must proclaim God's love for us in word and deed, and in Luke's gospel Jesus makes this clear. After his Baptism, he returns to his home synagogue and searches for a passage in Isaiah that will let people know what he intends to do with his life. We read: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. (Lk 4: 18)
Baptism was a challenge for Jesus and so must it be for us. Although from the beginning of his ministry the Lord would be criticized, eventually he would be vilified because he insists, in opposition to the leaders of the Jewish community, that his mission is not simply to reenforce the teaching of the Torah in word, but to live it in service to those most in need. Jesus' ministry to the poor, blind and oppressed reminds us that the only way others will know we are his disciples is by the love we have for one another, especially those who are without an identity or a voice.
Today, talk without someone who others ignore.