This is better late than never – a reflection on last Sunday’s Gospel, on the feast of the Baptism of the LORD.

“And yet you come to me.”

 

The wonder of God.  When JESUS came to John the Baptist at the Jordan, John said to Him, “I need to be baptised by you, and yet you come to me!”

 

And yet you come to me!

 

At the end of the season of Christmas, what after all could be a more perfect transition to the Ordinary Time of the Church’s year, than to wonder at the feast of the Baptism of the LORD?  It seems to sum up all that we had been longing for throughout all of Advent, and in each encounter with the LORD in the feast days of Christmas; and this day seems also to equip us for the journey ahead – how we must live and how we are to imitate Christ.

 

And yet you come to me!

 

Even the greatest man to have been born of a woman, did not understand the God whose coming he had to proclaim.  It is encouraging, in a way, to realise that God confused and perplexed even the greatest saints.

 
And yet you come to me!

 

Still, these words of St John encapsulate the whole mission of Christ: even before His birth, while still in the womb of His mother, He would come to Elizabeth and her unborn baby; He would come to be born and laid in a manger far from the busy-ness and distractions of a restless town, so that at His coming He might be found – and in being recognised – He might be wondered at.  He chose obscurity and littleness, not by accident but by design, so that I and you; that we might be amazes, and brought to say with St John:

 

“And yet you come to me!”

 

The shepherds heard the wondrous song of angels;

The Magi followed a wondrous star

 
…         all were attracted by something heavenly and miraculous – and were presented with a Saviour and Redeemer of the whole world who was utterly helpless and dependent; and St Johnpaved the way for the Lamb of God, who turned all his expectations upside-down and inside-out.

 

And yet you come to me!

 

Our God is very confusing:  He doesn’t fit any of the categories or patterns we imagine He should.  Yet, He fills us – if we will only let Him – with wonder.   And if we let Him, He shows us that His perplexing way, must be ours, if we would be His.

 

May the LORD put those words on our lips and in our souls    ‘And yet you come to me!’    that in His coming to us, He may dwell in us:  and in His dwelling – through us, He may come to all; that the world may be filled with the wonder of God.  That we may look at Him and be amazed.