Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gospel Reflection

January 13, 2013
Sunday – Year of Faith
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 
by Rev. Fr. Caloy Reyes
12:15PM Mass at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA)
Reading 1 Is 42:1-4, 6-7

Thus says the LORD: Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. a bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Or Is 40:1-5, 9-11

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins.

A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Go up on to a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by a strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. 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.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10.

R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Or Ps 104:1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30

R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul.
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
you are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
You have spread out the heavens like a tent-cloth;
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
You have constructed your palace upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot;
you travel on the wings of the wind.
You make the winds your messengers,
and flaming fire your ministers.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures;
the sea also, great and wide,
in which are schools without number
of living things both small and great.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
They look to you to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.
If you take away their breath, they perish and return to the dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul.

Reading 2 Acts 10:34-38

Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying: “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word that he sent to the Israelites  as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,  what has happened all over Judea,  beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good  and healing all those oppressed by the devil,  for God was with him.”

Or Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7

Beloved: The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to 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 our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.

When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Gospel Lk 3:15-16, 21-22

The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

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.”


Today, we celebrate the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the last Sunday of Christmas.

And we ask ourselves why our Lord Jesus Christ had to be baptized when the baptism that John was teaching is the baptism for the forgiveness of sins. And we know that Jesus Christ committed no sin. So how come Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist? Why did He insist on being baptized by John the Baptist?

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist because it was the external sign of His internal disposition, which is to be immersed in the will of God, His Father. His baptism is the external sign of His total obedience and commitment to God.

In our case, there are similarities, and there are also differences between the baptism that we receive and the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. In our case, there has to be some remedial action to be taken, and this is because of the fact that we all have sinned, and that there has to be a certain remedial action before we can be immersed into the will of the Father, as our Lord Jesus Christ.

When Jesus Christ was baptized, we can see that the heavens opened during the rite of His baptism, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove, and a voice came from heaven declaring our Lord Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, and that He is pleasing to God. This thing, we have in common with our Lord. After our baptism, our sins were all forgiven, or deleted or removed - our personal sins and also the original sin - and we were given the grace coming from the Holy Spirit, to be obedient to the will of the Father. And also, we were named as sons and daughters of God the Father. So we became part of God's family, and Jesus Christ is our big brother. 

And these are the effects of our baptism. The main difference is that, first, there has to be a remedial action, as our sins have to be forgiven or removed, and after that, we can obey the will of God.

So for this Sunday, I just want to review the rite of baptism within the Roman Catholic Church. I suppose that most of you were baptized as infants. Lahat tayo bininyagan ng bata ano. And I am sure you don't remember the rites when you were baptized. Sino ang nakaka-alala kung paano siya bininyagan? Ako nga ni picture wala ako noong ako'y bininyagan.


So let's go over the rites of baptism. During the early days of the church history, the baptistry was located very near the entrance of the church, malapit sa pasukan ng simbahan. Eh ngayon ang simbahan natin, minsan di natin alam kung saan ang main entrance ano, kung saan ang pasukan. Pagpasok mo noon, ang baptistry, malapit na malapit sa pinto o kaya ay nasa labas ng simbahan. Kasi may mga simbahan po na ang kanilang belfry or bell tower ay nagse-serve din na baptistry. The baptistry is located at the entrance of the church, to symbolize the entrance to a life with God.

Mayroon din pong rite noon ng renunciation of Satan. Karamihan po ng mga simbahan noon ay may tinatawag na East Wall. Ano 'yong East Wall? Pag nakaharap tayo sa altar, nakaharap tayo sa East - sa Silangan, kasi doon sumisikat ang araw, and Jesus is the sun that rises and sets. Tumatalikod tayo sa West, kasi nandoon ang demonyo sa West. So 'yong mga bibinyagan noon ay papasok sa simbahan - kasi matanda na sila - tapos gagawin niya, bago siya pumasok ng simbahan, haharap siya sa West, tapos doon ire-renounce niya si Satanas. Pwede siyang magalit kay Satanas, pwede mo rin siyang duraan, tapos tatalikod siya ngayon sa West, tapos maglalakad siya papuntang East. Hindi na siya haharap ulit sa West. Ganoon ang style ng mga simbahan natin noon. Ngayon parang hindi na nasusunod. Makita mo 'yong St. Peter's, hindi na siya East Wall. Ang St. Peter's ay West Wall. So nabaligtad ano. Ang sumunod ay ang St. Paul, 'yong talagang East Wall pa rin.  

Sa rite of baptism natin ngayon, pag dinala na 'yong bata, ang una naming tatanungin ay kung ano ang pangalan ng bata. We will ask the parents, as you represent the child in the rite of baptism. Ikaw ang sasagot sa kanila. Ikaw ang magulang eh. So dapat ang binibigay ninyong pangalan sa bata ay Kristiyano nang kaunti. Minsan nagugulat na lang ako sa mga pangalang binibigay ng mga magulang.

Then we will ask the parents, bakit kayo naparito? What do you ask God's Church for this child? Minsan ang mga magulang hindi pa rin alam kung ano ang isasagot. Bakit ka ba nagpunta rito? Mag-iisip pa. Syempre gusto mong pabinyagan ang anak mo. At dahil gusto mong pabinyagan ang iyong anak, mayroon kang obligasyon na turuan ang bata tungkol sa pananampalataya, na mahalin ang Diyos at ang kapwa, gaya ng tinuro ni Hesus, at turuan ang bata na magdasal. 'Yon po ang obligasyon ng mga magulang na gustong pabinyagan ang kanilang mga anak.

Sa mga ninong at ninang, tatanungin natin sila kung handa silang tulungan ang mga magulang ng mga bata na palakihin sila bilang Kristiyano. Pag sinabing Kristiyano, hindi born-again Christian. So hindi kayo dapat kumuha ng ninong at ninang na hindi Kristiyano. Hindi pwede 'yon. Paano siya magiging sponsor ng binyag ng Katoliko at may obligasyon siya na palakihin ang bata bilang Katoliko, kung hindi siya Katoliko? Kung gusto mo lang kunin ang boss mo o gusto mo lang mamulitika o magpalakas, o gawa ng pakimkim, para hindi ka na gagastos, aba'y mali ka do'n.
Pagkatapos noon, ang bata ay tatatakan ng krus sa noo, tanda ng ating paghahanda sa pagsunod sa landas ni Hesus. Pagkatapos noon ay ipagdarasal natin ang mga bata. Mayroon tayong prayer of exorcism. Pinagdarasal natin ang bata para matanggal ang lahat ng masama sa kanyang katauhan, para maging handa siya sa binyag. Pag may edad na po ang bibinyagan, tatlong beses po ang scrutiny, at tatlong beses din po ang prayer of exorcism, doon po sa Rite of the Initiation of Christian adults.
Tapos po ay ibe-bless ang tubig at tatanungin ang mga magulang, dahil sila ang sasagot para sa mga anak nila, ng tatlong tanong, dalawang set ng tigatlong tanong. 'Yong una ay 'yong pagtakwil kay Satanas at sa kasalanan, at 'yong pangalawa ay tungkol sa pananampalataya. Gagawin natin 'yon mamaya, para sariwain natin ang ating binyag, para tayo mismo ang sasagot para sa atin.
Do you reject Satan? Sigurado kayo? Baka sama kayo nang sama kay Satanas. Kasi sabi nila pinakamagandang anghel si Satanas. Si Lucifer ay pinakamagandang anghel. Pag nagpakita siya sa iyo na mukhang demonyo, hindi ka sasama, diba? Para makapang-akit ka, kailangan maganda ka. Eh kung ang pangit pangit mo tapos mang-aakit ka, eh susmaryosep (laughs). So si Satanas, maganda si Satanas, mukhang kaibigan, kaya ka niya nahihikayat. 
Do you reject all his works? Ano 'yong mga gawain ni Satanas? Sige nga. Oo ka nang oo na naman. (laughs) Unang una, chismis. 'Yong pagnanakaw, kasama rin 'yong pangungupit sa magulang. Kasama 'yon. Cheating sa school, kasama 'yon. Pre-marital sex, kasama 'yon. 'Yong pagmumura, kasama 'yon. Siguraduhin natin - do we reject all his works? Ang sabi dito ay all, kahit 'yong mga maliliit.

Do you reject his empty promises? 'Yong mga pangako ba ni Satanas itinatakwil mo? Bago ka sumagot, tanungin muna natin. Ano ba ang pangako ni Satanas? Ano'ng pangako niya sa atin kaya sumasama tayo? Pangako niya ganito. Sumama ka sa akin at bibigyan kita ng buhay na masarap. Buhay na walang krus, walang problema. Eh kung si Hesus ang maghihikayat sa atin, ano'ng pinapangako ni Hesus pag sumama ka sa Kanya? Sumama ka sa akin, tapos bibigyan kita ng krus. 'Yan ang papasanin mo araw-araw. Huwag mong bibitawan. Tapos maglakad ka papuntang Kalbaryo, sumama ka sa akin. Pag nasa Kalbaryo ka na, ipapako ka na, mamamatay ka ro'n kagaya ko. Pagkatapos noon, mabubuhay ka. 'Yon ang pangako ni Hesus. Pero ang pangako ng demonyo, a life without a cross, without suffering. Meron ba no'n? Wala. Kasinungalingan 'yon.

Then tatanungin kayo tungkol sa pananampalataya. Pag sumagot kayo ng 'oo', bibinyagan na ang bata. Tapos bubuhusan na siya ng blessed water, upang linisin ang bata sa lahat ng kasalanan niya. Dito sa EDSA Shrine sa may baptismal font doon, pwedeng ilubog 'yong bata doon. Ang ibig sabihin kasi ng binyag ay paglulubog - immersion. Pero pwedeng buhusan mo na lang nang tatlong beses ang bata.

Then, ang susunod na simbulo ay 'yong anointing. Kaya tayo tinawag na Kristiyano dahil sa anointing. So pag na-anoint ka na, Kristiyano ka na. Ang nilalagyan ng langis sa bumbunan ay 'yong mga importanteng tao - 'yong mga hari, pari at propeta. So pag pinahiran ka no'n, ang ibig sabihin, ikaw ay kasapi ng isang bayan ng Diyos, na bayan ng hari, pari at propeta. At ikaw, pari ka rin. Pareho tayo. Iba lang ang pagkapari ko sa pagkapari mo pero 'yong pagkapari mo ay pinagsisilbihan ng pagkapari ko. Kaya ako nandito dahil sa inyo. Lahat tayo ay hari - mga prinsipe sa langit - at propeta.

Then pagkatapos ng binyag, dadamitan na ang bata. Ano'ng damit 'yon? 'Yong damit na puti. Ito ay simbulo ng ating dignidad - puting damit. At ito ay binibigay pagkatapos ng binyag. Kaya lang baligtad na ngayon, ang bata nakadamit na ng puti sa simula pa lang ng binyag kaya sinusuotan ko na lang ng puting sumbrero. Pero dapat talaga ang bata ay nakalampin muna tsaka bibigyan ng damit pagkatapos ng binyag - to receive the symbol of Christian dignity. 

Pagkatapos ay magsisindi ng kandila, to receive the light of Christ. Ito ay binibigay sa Tatay. Dapat ang ilaw na ito ni Kristo ay magningning sa buhay mo, huwag mong papatayin. Dito sa Pilipinas ang mga kandila natin, 'yon lang sperma, ang liit liit 'no. Pero sa ibang bansa, ang kandila sa kanila, parang Paschal candle na, tapos may drawing pa ng mga santo, kasi 'yon ang kandila ng iyong binyag, ng iyong buhay, upang maalala mo na ikaw ay ilaw din. Pagkatapos noon ay dismissal na po. 

So ganoon po ang binyag. Napakaganda ng binyag. Kaya lang hindi natin basta maipaliwanag kasi ang binyag minsan dito sa Pilipinas, madami. Minsan nagbinyag ako, tatlong daan, di katulad dito sa EDSA Shrine, kaunti lang, mga isa o dalawa lang.

By virtue of our baptism, may we all follow the way of Christ, and be a light of Christ to others. So right now, we will renew our baptism. So please rise, my dear brothers and sisters, and let us renew our baptismal promises.