All posts by Fr. Edmund

The Theology of the Future

The Theology of the Future

In the Gospel , Jesus receives the revelation of his destiny.  In an indescribable experience of intimacy with God, he receives suddenly with absolute conviction that he is the Son of God in a unique sense.

The Lord’s baptism is symbolic of the Father’s approval of His Son’s ministry of preaching the good News of Salvation that would culminate in His passion, death and resurrection. When Christ submitted Himself to be baptized by John in the Jordan River, God’s stamp of approval was executed by the symbolism of a dove and a  voice from above  which said “This is my Beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.”

Christ’s baptism marks the formal beginning of His public ministry. It symbolizes his formal allegiance to God’s will. It is both His first public appearance and the inauguration of His divine ministry. Jesus’ baptism represents the fulfillment of what is prophesied in the Servant Song in  Chapter 63 of Isaiah.  God sends His Servant-Son, filled with his spirit.  Sharing his divine life and power, to accomplish the salvation of the world, bringing new life to all of humanity. He is designated as the representation of God’s people according to the Spirit. He is declared formally as the only Son of God, the Servant of Yahweh, anointed with His prophetic Spirit.

We may think “So what’s the big deal? Was Jesus not aware of being God from the moment of his conception in Mary’s womb?”  The answer is no… Scriptures say that Jesus “had become like his brothers in every way… a man like us in all things except sin.”    In a real way, his brain developed gradually like any human brain.   Like the rest of us, he had to learn how to sit, stand, walk, talk, eat, read…  But it was during his baptism that the clear confirmation of his mission was conferred on him, paving the way to living out the revelation of this event.

In a way, Jesus shared with us that human tendency to grope more or less blindly toward the future.  Will the knowledge of the time of our death really help us live a better Christian life? What will happen to such basic virtues as trust in God?  If God has hidden the future from us, even from His own Son, surely it must be for an excellent reason…

The only thing that really matters is to hear God tell us: “You are my beloved Son.  On you my favor rests.”  Once we really believe this, we can face the unknown with a peaceful heart.  As it is said: “We don’t know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future.”