2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A
6-9 year olds
This Sunday we hear John the Baptist talking about Jesus' baptism.
I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
When I read this description, the word "remained" jumped out at me. Last week, we heard St. Matthew's account of Jesus' baptism, and he did not use this word. This Gospel account tells us that God uses the word "remain," too:
“He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”
The word "remain" means "to stay." Another word for remain is "abide," which means "to make a home." The Holy Spirit comes down on Jesus and makes a home in him.
We know that it is the Holy Spirit who began Jesus' life inside of Mary. The angel Gabriel says, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) So the Holy Spirit was already with him in some way. But at the moment of his baptism, the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus in a most particular way. The Holy Spirit makes a home in him.
This moment, this making a home, affects Jesus very strongly. At the Last Supper, Jesus tells us the Parable of the True Vine. "I am the vine, you are the branches," he says. In this parable, he uses the word "remain" or "abide" eleven times! I think it is his favourite word! If he repeats it this many times, it must be important.
Remain in me as I remain in you. (John 15:4)
Jesus makes his home in us, and he wants us to make our home in him.
How do we do this? How can we make a home in him?
It has already begun. Like Jesus, we have been baptized. Although the Holy Spirit may have been with us before, at the moment of our baptism, the Holy Spirit comes to us in a most particular way. From Jesus, the Holy Spirit flows to each of us. We are connected. We have our home in him.
Who lives together in a home?
I guess we are family :)