BINYAG KA NA BA? Naranasan mo na bang tinadyakan o inapakan ang sapatos mo ng mga walang hiya mong mga kaibigan? They didn't mean to hurt you actually. Indication lang yan na bago sapatos mo o bagong shine. It's a way of affirming. Regalo para sa bago mong suot. Ganun din pag may bagong kotse, damit, relo, bag, selpon, etc etc etc. Kasama na jan ang trend pag summer sa mga batang lalaki at sa barkadang baguhan at walang kamuwang muwang. Gets nyo na siguro yan. Indication at reminder lang yan ng puberty, teenage life, at buhay barkada. Sa mga bugoy na kagaya ko, malamang marami pang bagay ang naglalaro jan sa isip nyo na gusto nyong sabihin o isagot sa tanong ko: "binyag ka na ba?" pero hangang jan na lang muna sasabihin ko.
Nung bininyagan tayo sa simbahan, for sure wala tayong kamuwang muwang. Let us just say na yun na yung indication na simula nung araw na yon ay Kristiyano ka na. Simula nung araw na iyon, markado ka na bilang taga sunod ni Kristo. Likewise, our parents were reminded on that day na alagan tayo according to the values of Christ at palakihin tayo sa maka kristiyaong pamamaraan.
For today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord, to make it simple, let us concentrate on this: The Baptism of the Lord is an INDICATION and at the same time a REMINDER sa marka ng ating pagkabinyag.
AN INDICATION. It’s an indication of a beginning, an initiation, of a confirmation. A beginning of what? An initiation into what? It is the beginning of our reflections on the ordinary life and ministry of Jesus. In the coming days and months before the Holy Week and Easter, we will be hearing about the teachings of Jesus, his healing power and miracles, his prayers and hopes for all of us his brothers and sisters.
It is an initiation of his service to humanity, the initiation of his final mission. It is the start of a very big and heavy task: to save humanity from evil. It is the initiation of being in the vineyard among the treacherous care takers. It’s his initiation that he took despite the risks, peoples’ resistance, and the human authorities disbelief that he was sent by God.
A confirmation is needed. Before someone could begin a task, a job, or a mission, there should always be a legal authority that would confirm that that person is sent, that that person is legal, that that person has the authority to conduct such business and or authorized to speak on behalf of the boss. And so therefore, the Baptism of the Lord is as well a confirmation. A confirmation that He is sent, and all must listen to Him for he is the Beloved Son of whom the Father is well pleased. It is a confirmation that his actions, words, and deeds are from God.
It is also, on the other hand, the beginning of the decline of John the Baptist, the initiation of the transfer of his disciples to become followers of Jesus, and a confirmation, that indeed, he was not the Messiah but rather he was just the man sent to prepare the way for the “Real One.”
A REMINDER. This feast is at the same time a reminder for us who had been also baptized in his name. First and foremost, it is A REMINDER that, by Jesus Christ’s being human and at the same time confirmed as the Son of God, by virtue of our baptism in him, WE ARE CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD. A gift of God for our baptism. It is a reminder that we are also loved, cared for, and cherished by God our Father. There’s no reason that we should frown, that we should lose hope, that we should feel uncared for, that we should feel alone.
Secondly, because of this reminder WE ARE CHALLENGED TO LIVE BY VIRTUE OF WHO WE ARE. We are reminded and challenged to maintain our dignity as children of God. We are reminded and challenged to speak, teach, act, do things as God’s children and not of the devil. We are reminded and challenged to live up to the expectations of a beloved son or daughter of God.
Sometimes because of the ordinariness of life, we tend to forget about all these things, of acting the way we should be, of living the way we are meant to be. And thus, thirdly, this feast is reminding us, waking us up again, a wakeup call, AN ALARM TO GO BACK TO WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE. We are adopted sons and daughters of God my dear friends. Get up, start again to live a new life. Be reminded that your life in sin have died already in Christ when you were baptized, so why go back to it over and over again?
Fourth, this feast, in the person of John the Baptist, we are reminded to humbly serve no matter who we are, no matter if we are not the main hero, not the boss, or only the supporting actor / actress. WE ARE REMINDED TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER, TO SERVE THE LORD. And in serving to remain humble and enduring.
And lastly, this feast reminds us, by virtue of our baptism in Christ, to continue to radiate, TO CONTINUE TO BE THE SACRAMENT OF JESUS, THE SACRAMENT OF GOD'S LOVE. We are reminded to be loving persons, loving one another as Christ loved and taught us. We are reminded to be merciful, compassionate and gentle to others. For the other person that you hate, abhor, disgust, dislike is also an adopted son or daughter of God no matter how ugly he / she is, kahit super pangit ng mukha o ng ugali. We are reminded to love our neighbour not just because it was said but because he/she is God’s loving son / daughter just like you.
BINYAG KA NA BA? O e anu pang hinihintay mo. Kilos na!
Photo credits toRoi Vincent Burlaza Cabiles and July Patrick Ramirez Layugan