We begin a time of preparation to renew the New and Eternal Covenant (or perhaps, to enter into this Covenant for the first time). Covenant is the way God has chosen to renew us and, in fact, all of creation.
We rarely announce a Presence which saves. We presupposed all that Christianity stuff—as in, Jesus’ Presence, the new horizon and a decisive direction in our life—and we go straight to what we are supposed to do.
What is going on in Jesus’ baptism? Clearly he doesn’t need it. And why aren’t we talking about cute little baby Jesus anymore?
Today, as St. Paul says, we are told the secret plan, the mystery: God hasn’t been choosing some people and forgetting about others, he hasn’t been playing favorites. God has, all along, been working to bring salvation to all people, from every nation and race and tribe.
What’s the issue? John says it clearly: “There is one among you whom you do not recognize.” At this point in the story, Jesus is already there, walking among them, but no one recognizes him—no one recognizes that the one they have been waiting for has arrived.
When the Lord encounters us, when we feel the Lord draw close to us—in that moment of encounter, the question is will we remain, will we abide, or will we burry it away, will we turn and walk away, will we say, “Thanks for all you do, Jesus, but don’t expect me to do anything in return”?
Reconciliation: How is this not just some more good advice that we could have gotten from any decent psychologist? Jesus isn’t in the business of giving good advice for the sake of good advice. This is good news! Why?
It is through a life lived in faith and allegiance to the King that the Kingdom grows. Through our witness, countless people can be inspired to live their lives in service to this King. It is people living their baptism, people living with Christ as their King. It is people who take up their cross daily and follow him.
Peter is confessing his allegiance to, his faith in Jesus Christ. Peter has come to realize that Jesus is the true king and emperor of the world, God’s anointed king who has come to overthrow the kingdoms of this world. And that is revolutionary in nature.
Faith is what happens when you encounter an exceptional presence, and you recognize this Presence as containing the “answer” you’ve been looking for, and you adhere to this Presence (beg for mercy, for help).