Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7; Isaiah 12; 1 John 5:1-9; Mark 1:7-11.
Jesus begins his ministry with an experience of the Father’s love. Mark tells us how, when Jesus came up from the Jordan, the heavens were torn apart and the voice of the Father was heard: ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’ This declaration of love of the Father to the Son, in the presence of the Spirit, would have enlightened Jesus as he undertook his ministry of revealing the Father’s love to his disciples and to the world.
The prophet Isaiah describes what is expected of the servant of the Lord. In great humility he is to go out and show the people that the kingdom of God has arrived. His signs of healing and forgiveness of sins give witness to Jesus’ message.
Through Jesus we too are children of God and beloved of the Father. Our job too is to witness to the coming kingdom of God. Our role is to recognise the work of the Spirit within us and share God’s love with all around us.
The Baptism of Jesus came at the beginning of his public life, a life that to contain many moments of support, approval, joy, satisfaction and fulfilment, mixed with opposition, envy, hatred and sadness. As a human person Jesus would not have been strong enough to face and live all this had he not experienced the Father’s love all along his life. The Father’s love encouraged the Son, Jesus, to live through each moment of his life.
Similarly, the Servant of God Joseph De Piro had moments of joy in his life; he had instances of satisfaction, gratification and fulfilment. He also lived through moments of sadness, disheartenment and desolation. De Piro’s experience of the Father’s love for him in his life empowered him to go on until the end.
De Piro experienced the love of the Father through the Son: the Incarnate God (God like us), the Suffering God (God with us who are suffering), the Eucharistic God (God within us), and the God with a Wounded Heart (God for us). He also experienced God’s love in His continuous Providence: the Father provided him with the money he needed for the orphanage children and the Society’s members; the persons he looked for in order to help him start and push forward his small Society; the energy he required in order to serve his large amount of ministries running concurrently. The love of the Father urged De Piro to always go forward, quickly and lovingly.