Intention: That with this new year will come a new spirit in all people as we discern how best to work together to heal our broken world by building the Kingdom of God.
Today’s Gospel | Mark 1:7-11
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
From the Third Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Because you are ambassadors and ministers of Jesus Christ in the work that you do, you must act as representing Jesus Christ. He wants your disciples to see him in you and to receive your instructions as if he were instructing them. They must be convinced that your instructions are the truth of Jesus Christ, who speaks with your mouth, that it is only in his name that you teach, and that he has given you authority over them.
They must also be convinced that they are a letter that Jesus Christ dictates to you, which you write each day in their heart, not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, who acts in you and by you through the power of Jesus Christ. He helps you triumph over all the obstacles that oppose the salvation of these children, enlightening them in the person of Jesus Christ to make them avoid all that could be displeasing to him.
To fulfill this duty with as much perfection and exactness as God requires of you, frequently appeal to the Spirit of our Lord to make you act in your work only under his influence, so that your mind may have no part in it. This Holy Spirit, then, will come upon them generously, so that they will be able to possess the Christian spirit fully.
Eternal Father, you have called us on our journey through life to be faithful, to follow obediently, to trust you fully. Still, there are things in this world that we do not understand, things we have yet to see, people that we do not understand. So, we ask that your strength might assist our own. Reassure and inspire us in our moments of weakness and confusion. Give us the will to persevere through all of the challenges and setbacks that we face and to accept with humility the grace of serving others, especially those who you have entrusted to our care. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.