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Gospel for Sunday, January 9 Luke 3: 15-16.21-22

Baptism of the Lord

15Since the people were waiting and everyone was wondering in their hearts about John whether he was not the Christ, 16John answered them all, saying: “I baptize you with water; but he comes he who is stronger than me, whose sandal straps I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire!”. 21And behold, while all the people were baptized and Jesus, having also received baptism, was praying, heaven opened 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, like a dove, and a voice came from heaven: “You are my beloved Son: with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 3: 15-16.21-22

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.


Lord Jesus, you “glory of God”, you “God who comes with power, who holds dominion with his arm” (Is 40,5. 10: First reading today), you are there today, mixed with the poor people who go from the Baptist to ask for the sign of conversion from sins. You, the Eternal, the Immense, whom we have contemplated sung by the angels (Lk 2,9-14) and adored by the magi (Mt 2,1-11) in the mystery of Christmas, make your debut in your public life by queuing among sinners awaiting baptism. But Lord, the powerful, the rich, those who matter, never queue! Have you ever seen a minister, an industrialist, a prelate, or even just an honorable member or a councilor standing in line? No, they have a secretary who takes care of them, a phone call is enough for them, or at least a private appointment is booked for them. It is the poor people, however, who queue: they are the sick who are already there, at six in the morning, queuing in front of the ASL counters to book that very necessary test and which the public structure makes you sigh so much . They are the old ladies who queue at the post office to collect their small pension. They are the unemployed who queue at the employment office to find out if there is a job. They are the homeless who queue at the Reception Center to get a bowl of soup or a bed for the night. It is ordinary people who queue in offices to obtain a document or to pay a tax, to buy at the big sale or to enter the stadium, and sometimes (alas increasingly rarely…) even to confess…

But you, Lord, what are you doing there? You, “the beloved Son”, in whom the Father is pleased (Lk 3.22: Gospel), are there queuing up, patiently, waiting your turn! And not even your turn to speak, to act, to show off, but to carry out the humble gesture of the repentant sinner, of the wicked who wants to change his life, of the blasphemers, of the murderers, of the violent, of the adulterers, of the thieves, of the perjurers, immoral people… Truly “even though you were of a divine nature, you did not consider your equality with God a treasure to be jealous, but you emptied yourself, taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:6- 8). Truly seal the beginning of your ministry with the style of “emptying” that will lead you to become “a man of sorrows, who knows suffering well…, despised…, chastised, struck by God and humiliated…, pierced…, crushed…, mistreated…, prostrate with pain” (Is 53,3-5.7.10), whose mystery of suffering we contemplate with emotion in the Shroud; the path of humiliation, which will lead you to be the “Crucified Messiah, a stumbling block to the Jews, foolishness to the pagans” (1 Cor 1.23). But not only “you took on our sufferings, you took on our pains” (Is 53.4), but “you bore the sin of many” (Is 53.12); you are the “Son sent in the likeness of sinful flesh and with sin in mind” (Rom 8:3); you “who knew no sin, were treated by God as sin in our favor” (2 Cor 5:21).

All we have to do is contemplate in silence the mystery of your love, of your tender pastoralism that gathers the flock in such a gentle and non-violent way: everyone knows that truly a God who has mixed himself among sinners is truly capable of “bringing the little lambs on the breast, slowly lead the mother sheep” (Is 40,11: Today’s First Reading), attentive to our needs, understanding of our weaknesses. You, O Lord, know how we are made, and you permeate our every reality, even the most abject and petty, with your love.

Help us to always recognize our faults, give us the gift of tears for our sin. And help us to understand that our Baptism also commits us “to deny impiety and worldly desires and to live with sobriety, justice and piety in this world” (1 Tt 2,12; 3,5: today’s second reading), on your example, humble among the humble, poor among the poor, last among the last…

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


Spazio Spadoni

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