The scene in today’s Gospel is the Baptism of Jesus. The evangelist Mark tells us a voice came from the heavens that said, “You are my Beloved Son, with you I am well-pleased.” My thoughts are based on the daily reading for January 10th in “The WORD Among Us” publication. The author of this reflection reminds us that these words speak of God’s appreciation of His Son for He is letting us know not only that Jesus is His Son, but that He is also pleased with His Son. Then the author of this reflection goes on to apply the events of this encounter to our lives, which I will further discuss.
All of us need to know that we are appreciated. We need to hear it from our parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends, and employers. Self-worth begins when we are young by receiving such loving comments, for with this modeling we can go out and do the same for others.
In our daily prayers, at the beginning of each day, we should take time to quiet down and listen to all God tells us which includes God’s affirmation of each of us. Our good and loving Father is ready to share things deep in our hearts and will tell us why he appreciates us.
As the day progresses, hectic as it can be, be sure to take time to listen to what our family members want to tell us. If we are not too busy rushing around and/or using electronic devices, they have a chance to affirm us, and we give ourselves the chance to share what is pleasing about them. Affirmation goes a long way!
What about our work lives or retirement volunteer tasks? If we keep ourselves too busy, we might miss what our colleagues have to share with us or not see what good they are doing. Our colleagues appreciate us noticing small things about them in their ordinary moments of life. Most of our days are not spent doing extraordinary things. It is all about doing small things with a great love, as Mother Teresa has told us. If we notice others doing things such as the following:
- Being patient with their children or elderly parents
- Cleaning up after a family gathering
- Emptying the dishwasher
- Carrying out the garbage
- Shoveling the snow or scraping a car after a snow fall
- Letting someone else choose the channel on tv
- Changing the baby, bathing the children, or reading to them at bedtime
- Folding the wash
- Shopping for groceries
- Making a call to a nursing home or a sick or elderly person
- Heating up a coffee mug each morning for his wife (this really did happen daily in one of our Quad-Parish homes)
Be sure to tell them we notice their kindness, generosity and self-giving. Then they will realize they are appreciated for the small tasks performed, which indicates how much others love them, and God loves them. As a result, each person will hopefully go out and love others because they know they are beloved sons or daughters who are treasured. Those who grow up neglected, ignored, not cherished, and affirmed, often do not have the ability and motivation to do anything for others. Sad to say, their time is spent looking for affirmation for themselves. This New Year of 2021, let us look for the opportunity to tell someone, “With you I am well-pleased.” All of us need this gift from each other!