Getting started this week is easy. Every one of us has had some sort of experience of leaving home, of responding to a call, of having to leave something or someone behind to journey in fidelity to who we are. So letting Jesus show us his departure from Nazareth for the river Jordan will be easy, if we let our imaginations be informed by our own experience. Try to take this first part of our week’s contemplation and let it be the grace we pray for as we step out of bed each morn¬ing. Use words to help shape the day’s reflection: “Lord, show me what led you to leave your home in Nazareth for your very public ministry. I so want to know you and grow in love for your way of responding to your mission. Show me what you want to show me about the journey of your heart. I want to listen today.”
By the middle of the week we will be ready to contemplate the baptism. The scene is simple, but the drama is tremendous. Think about it and imagine it enough to let it have the power it can have. If we love Jesus, we have to have some feeling about watching him approach this baptism. He doesn’t need to do this. He could say to God, “I have not sinned; I don’t need to do this act of repentance. I’m not like those people entering that water.” But, of course, that is not his response to God’s call that he become one with us. We can allow ourselves to be caught up in feelings of awe and appreciation and joy for him as he comes to the freedom of this baptism. We can let ourselves be touched by what his baptism means for us.
Each morning we can ask for the graces we need: “Lord, let me be there as you enter into the waters of baptism with me and for me. You are wonderful and I love you. I so want to be with you and together with you in your mission. Give me what I need this week to surrender more and more for God’s glory and the salvation of my soul.”
Each evening, we can spend a brief moment speaking to our Lord in our own words. We express our gratitude. We share some image that touches us. We tell him about how some moment in our day became different because we were contemplating this journey of his life this week.
Finally, please consider sharing some of the graces that come to you as a result of these rich contemplations in everyday life.