Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 28, 2017 / By: John T. Giesen

Back to Basics

Ez 47:1-9, 12/Jn 5:1-16

What else are you but "a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more" — in the end, won't your life be nothing but "a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury / Signifying nothing"? A challenge from Shakespeare. 

Or, what's the difference between you and a little soap-bubble? Won't both eventually burst, to be gone forever?  A challenge from Dostoevsky.

Our Gospel today tells of Jesus' baptism:

He came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him, 
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying, 
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

That last verse is the basic truth Christians must cling to. Jesus is the "beloved Son," God Incarnate. "All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the man." John 1:3–5. 

We enter that life and that light through baptism. "Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit." CCC 1213. 

That doesn't mean our candle won't go out or that our bubble won't burst. No, "we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death." Romans 6:3. "No slave is greater than his master," Jesus tells us. "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." John 15:20. 

But baptism makes all the difference. "In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you." John 14:19–20. 

Those are promises, and God always honors his promises. So, to answer the challenges—from baptism, the life of the Trinity. From that life, hope.

Jesus, I want to live like you. 

John T. Giesen
School of Law Student