The mission of Jesus begins

Following the Christmas season, Christians recall the life and ministry of Jesus. His public ministry eventually led to Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, his glorious resurrection, and his ascension into heaven.

According to the gospels, Jesus began his public ministry with his baptism in the Jordan. At his baptism Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and acknowledged by the Father: “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mk 1:11).

It was then that he was first recognized and Christ caught the attention of his first apostles. To each he gave an invitation and those who responded would become his disciples: “Follow me.” (Mk 1:17,19;2:14). These men chose to live with Jesus and learn from him. In the end they became his apostles and continued his ministry throughout the world.

Following his baptism, having confronted the devil, Jesus then began to speak publicly proclaiming the kingdom of God. In this, Jesus gave us an example that the life of his followers should begin with baptism, that through baptism we are called to witness to the truth before all people. Christians in imitation of “Christ” (the anointed) receive baptism, are anointed with the Holy Spirit, are released from the family of Adam to become adopted children of God our Father, and are sent to continue the work of Jesus.

But this all begins with hearing the voice of Jesus inviting us as he did the apostles: “Come and see.” (John 1:39)

Many people feel this invitation in their hearts, but for one reason or another don’t respond. Today God may be speaking to you: “Come and see.” What will your response be?

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Fr. Joseph Orr of Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, Lock Haven, and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Renovo.

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