Baptism of the Lord, January 10, Purpose: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Many Native American tribes have ceremonies called vision quests, an Anglicized umbrella term. The ceremonies help young men find their purpose in life, their role in a community, and how they may best serve the People (the tribe). This is the liturgical year (B) when our Sunday Gospels often are from Mark. Mark does not have infancy stories about the child Jesus like Luke and Matthew have. Instead Mark begins his Gospel with Jesus receiving his commission, his marching orders, at his baptism by John. “On coming up out of the water, he saw … 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.’” Right after this baptism account, Mark tells us that Jesus is led into the desert to be tempted — perhaps to show us that it takes time to understand and accept all that is entailed in a mission from God. When Jesus comes out of the desert, he starts his public ministry and calls disciples. Vocation is something we hear about often in our Church. But vocation is about a lot more than your state in life — priesthood, marriage or dedicated single life. Vocation is about our God-given purpose in life, our role in community, and how we might serve others. If you have any young folks in your life, have you asked them what they feel called to do in this regard? And of course, it’s also a good question for each of us. After all, as we grow, we change, and so does the answer to this question!

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia


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