This is my beloved Son. . .

 

At the moment Jesus was baptized, a voice spoke from heaven: “This is my beloved Son…” It is clear to us that this is the voice of God the Father, but why did He introduce Jesus in this way?

 

The words of the Father are for us, so that we may see Jesus in the way the Father sees him, not only as his Son, but as his beloved Son.  The Father presents Jesus to us in this way so that we may understand what makes that Son so loved, and that our understanding may aid us in being like Jesus.

 

Many times I ask myself what it is that makes a father or mother love a son or daughter, and the answer is simple: it is because he is a son or she is a daughter.  Parents’ love is unconditional. However they have wishes, desires and dreams for their children; parents have preferences of how they would like their children to be, what they should do, what profession they should choose. But we know that desires of the parents are not always fulfilled for many reasons. And children do not always want to live out their parents’ dreams, as noble as they might be, because they are not their own.

 

With the Father and Jesus, it is different. Jesus is everything the Father expects and hopes for: all the desires and dreams are fulfilled. He is presented to the world with pride and happiness, just as you might feel when your child is born, takes a first step, utters a first word, or graduates from college.

 

Imagine then this moment when God the Father presented his Son to us. But the reason goes beyond just the happiness of presenting someone in whom one is pleased. He presents Jesus to us to let us know, to encourage us to be like him, for God has dreams and desires for each one of us, and it is in our pursuit of God’s dream for us that we will find fulfillment and joy.

 

It is true that Jesus is God’s beloved Son, but also it is equally true that the more similar you are to Jesus, the more closely you emulate Him even as you continue to be yourself, you are also a son or daughter and you are loved more and more. This, my brothers and sisters, is our call: to be the face of God here on Earth.

Fr. Sergio