And a voice came from the heavens, “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”
Today we begin a transition into two short Ordinary Time weeks. After that we will notice a stark change as we enter the Pre-Lenten season.
In this transition the moments of Jesus’ Nativity get closed out (excepting February 2nd – the Solemnity of the Presentation, forty days after Jesus’ birth) and His public ministry is begun.
If there is a word to bridge these times, and one that is self-contained in each season of the Church year, it is the word ‘announcement.’
Consider the times we have encountered and will encounter ‘announcement.’
The angels announce the Messiah’s birth. The humble shepherds announce what they have seen and heard. The Maji announce the coming of the Messiah to King Herod and all of Jerusalem hears of it. John the Baptist had been announcing the coming of “One mightier than I.” The decent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father from heaven announce Jesus as the Son of God.
Setting forth after His baptism Jesus will call His disciples, turn water into wine, and most importantly announce the immanence of the Kingdom – a charge equally given to every disciple: The Kingdom of heaven is at hand (note in Mark’s gospel account only four verses after His baptism).
Jesus emphasizes the work of announcement. It is the work we each must take up. It is a work that can be carried out in various ways, we don’t all need to be broadcasters using words – it may also be done in acts. It is anything we do that opens the kingdom to others.
Our work as announcers must also be evident in the attitudes we carry. That was the lesson Peter experienced before going to the house of Cornelius. Before going there – to the house of a Gentile Roman Centurion – considered unclean, God showed Peter that his attitudes had to change, that announcing the Kingdom was for those God intended, not only those Peter considered worthy by his own judgment.
With open hearts let us then be those announcers, broadcasters, proclaimers, trumpeters God asks us to be. The more we announce the Kingdom the more people will accept Jesus.