It is a very long tradition in the Church.
That is, celebrating the Baptism of Jesus so close to Christmas.
It does seem odd. Thirty years have elapsed.
But as St. Maximus of Turin (380-465) points out, an important spiritual point is being made by the Church.
Jesus was embraced by his mother at his birth. Jesus was embraced by his Father at his baptism.
This is exactly what we really need. It is precisely what we should desire.
Jesus rested on his mother’s breast. He would have learnt to speak his ‘mother tongue’ from this intimate posture. She – and Joseph – guided him in all things human.
It is Luke who encourages us to contemplate Mary as the one who ‘treasures all these things in her heart’ (Luke 2: 51). She is eminently a disciple of Christ.
It is John who encourages us to see that Mary’s personal identity is rooted in her calling.
She is known not as Mary, but as ‘Woman’ (Genesis 3) and the ‘Mother of Jesus’’ (John 2, John 19).
We would be fools to ignore the call to let ourselves be embraced by Mary.
Try the beautiful Memorare as a daily prayer. It was written by St. Bernard (1090-1153). It is a tender prayer, full of embrace.
We would be fools to ignore the call to let ourselves be embraced by the Father.
God is deeply in love with his Son and we are loved with the same love:
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love (John 15).
It was St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) who once said:
I’d sooner be judged by God than by my own mother.
So much happens in life. So much happens to us.
But if we are anchored in the Father’s love, then nothing else matters.
Ask for this experience, not just once, but all through life.
‘The voice of the Father thunders’:
You are my beloved son, beloved daughter, remain in my love (Luke 3).