From a Creighton Student's Perspective
January 6, 2012
Junior, Theology and Education Major
Reflecting and praying upon the readings for today, I was struck by one theme. There seemed to me to be a clear presence and emphasis placed on the Holy Spirit. In the first reading, we are told that the Spirit testifies for Jesus, and that the Spirit is truth. Then in Mark, we are told that one “mightier than I” (Jesus) would be coming to baptize us with the Holy Spirit. This Spirit is the very same Spirit that testifies on behalf of Jesus. It is the same Spirit that makes up the Trinity. This is obviously empowering, but at some level it is still difficult to grasp… after all the Trinity and the Holy Spirit aren’t the easiest things to comprehend.
I found that I truly felt the magnitude of this revelation, encountering both humility as well as inspiration, when I tried to make an analogy with my own life. In the first reading we find several different instances of one testifying for another person. This happens all the time in my own life; as I am approaching my senior year I’m finding a greater and greater demand for recommendations (or testimonies) both from me as well as for me. And looking at the “real world” around me (life after college), it seems that things are often based on ‘who’ you know and not ‘what’ you know. I can therefore firsthand understand the impact a good recommendation can make, especially when it is from an important person.
Returning to the readings then… we are being baptized in the very name of the man that God and the Holy Spirit testified. This man who has received a recommendation not from a CEO of a company, a president of a country, or any world leader… but from God Godself! And what’s more, we too are able to share in this amazing “recommendation” of sorts. God views us—God views you and me—as good people, so much so that God bestows God’s love and approval of us with the Holy Spirit through this sacrament of Baptism. It is truly a humbling, but also empowering, thought. We are in great company; and it is through prayer that we come to more deeply and fully enter into this beautiful community of the Trinity to which we are called.
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