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January 11th - Baptism of the Lord (Mk 1: 7–11)
Jesus is anonymous in the midst of the crowd gathered on the banks of the Jordan River by John. Jesus is among us. The Gospel says nothing about him; it only describes how the sky opens and the Spirit descends like a dove.

Jesus was perhaps the only one who heard the voice from heaven: "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." He was certainly alone when the Spirit drove him into the wilderness, almost into exile. Those Forty days represent the duration of a generation, almost a whole lifetime. Jesus is with us, even in the poverty of the desert, experiencing testing and exposed to evil with the temptation of Satan. Jesus is like us in all things, except in sin.
The Spirit moves Jesus immediately after baptism. He responds to the Father‘s love by obeying to the Spirit‘s guidance. That’s the only possible answer. Jesus sees the heavens open and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. The open skies say that the wound is healed, the separation between heaven and earth is eliminated; this is the expression of the renewed encounter between God and the world, just as the dove left the ark after the flood when it finally found the earth on which to land.
"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." This is the key word. Jesus is the beloved son, in whom God is pleased. Jesus is the true man, the new man, the new Adam. These words addressed to Jesus are also for all of us, who are loved by the Father. And the Spirit descending like a dove evokes the tenderness of the loving Father who bends over his Son like a dove cuddles up to its young.

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