Mark 1:9-13 Reflections Part 3

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"You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased" (Mark 1:11)


You are my son

There are Fathers who do not recognise their sons and consequently their sons’ psychological development is stunted, they feel insecure and they know they are missing out on something important. Jesus receives confirmation of being the Son of God on emerging from the waters of baptism and Mark thus confirms another aspect of the opening verse of this gospel, Jesus is the Son of God. Here God reveals himself as Father to Jesus but he also reveals himself as Father to all those who have been baptised into Christ. Nothing is more important for our spiritual, emotional development when we too, deep down in the depths of our spirit, in moments of inner stillness, hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit confirm our status as sons of he who has created the heavens and the earth and who guides it on its journey towards Christ
When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:15, 16)
From the moment of our baptism something extraordinary happens: the heavens are torn and the Holy Spirit descends on us and remains in us. Consequently we have that same reassurance that Jesus had of being sons and daughters of God and that reassurance comes every time we cease all activity physical, intellectual and emotional and rest in that inner stillness where the Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus who in turn leads us to the Farther. When that miraculous meeting takes place we “dare” to say our Father who is in heaven yes, but also deep within each believer baptised into Jesus. Everyone who believes in Jesus has been given the power to become children of God. That power is given by one person only, the Holy Spirit who descends and takes up his abode in us as we too emerge from the waters of baptism. Be still in the presence of the Lord and you will also hear that voice saying to you personally: “you are my son”, you are my son. And as a Father protects his son every moment of his life so we, too, will feel the protective embrace of our heavenly Father. Let no person ever say he has no Father for he could not hope for any better.
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. (1 John 3:1)

The beloved

Some unnatural fathers do not love their children, they do not recognise them but abuse them, belittle them, stifle their psychological development. Our heavenly Father is not one of these. Everyone craves to be loved. Let us not choose to cut ourselves off from the source of love
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8)
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. (1 John 4:16)
Do you want to be loved? Do you want to hear that same voice from deep within as Jesus heard it on emerging from the waters of baptism? Do you want to hear from deep within you are my son / daughter, I love you? Then do not cut yourself off from that love. Accept the invitation to change the direction of your life, fix your gaze on the perfect image of the love of God, say yes to life, say yes to love and you shall radiant that same love to those around you and you will soon find that love is contagious and powerful. Love is like a boomerang it will return to you. It will transform you and your relationships. You have it within your grasp to love and be loved. You are my son, be loved; you are my daughter, be loved. Let yourselves be loved for you are my beloved and I love you, let yourselves be loved.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you … he who formed you: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God … your Saviour. Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you. … Do not fear, for I am with you (Isaiah 43:1-5)
‘I love you; let yourselves be loved’. This is the message that rings out in every action of Jesus’ ministry.

With you I am well pleased

Every person grows in stature when he hears his father say “I am pleased with you”. You know that you have achieved your aim of making your father happy and you yourself are happy. You know you are loved and you are now ready for love and to love. Your heart dissolves on hearing these words. The bond between you is strengthened; you face life with renewed trust, hope and confidence. Jesus must have felt something similar. No wonder we see him seeking the guidance of the Father in his every action. No wonder he says that his food is to do the Father’s will.
Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. (John 4:34)
Do you lack self-esteem? Do you need to know whether you are walking in the right direction in life? Do you want to see if you are on the way to true self-fulfilment? Do you want to hear the words: you are my son / daughter, I love you, I am happy with you? Then take up the invitation to want to change the direction of your life, fix your gaze on Jesus, God’s gift of love to you, welcome him into your life, be baptised and you shall have confirmation of all this. God loves us and with that same love we love others and we all enter into a relationship of love and together we create a Christian community of love. That community of love is called “church”, the people of God, the people of love. Jesus is the love of the Father in person, those who accept him become part of that community of love.

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