Identity is something we must to have in order to gain entry. Without a valid identity we are denied access and sometimes there are investigations that follow. A person who applies for an identification card needs to satisfy certain conditions before being granted a card. Identification cards appear in various forms. A simple one often requires a password or a combination of letters and numbers or a phase. A more complicated identification card requires a photo of a person who carries the card. In some cases two or three identification cards are needed to gain an entry. In the past the finger prints were enough to identify a person. Life becomes more sophisticated and requires improving personal identity for better safety of the public. Modern technology advancement is able to combine several personal features onto a single piece of paper. It can compact photos of a person, signature and an image of their pupil. As technology improves we might see the voice wave length recorded and added to the identification card.
Identification by voice is what we hear in today's Gospel. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus came out of the water and the voice from on high was saying
This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on Him v.17
The voice from on high identifies Jesus as the Son of God. It is both the revelation and confirmation of the identity of Jesus who became one of us and lived amongst us. His physical body remains on earth no more but his divinity and humanity are with us in the forms of the Spirit through his words and the sacraments. Listen to Jesus means listening to the voice of God speaking through Jesus. We believe that God teaches us through Jesus because God's favour rests on Jesus simply because Jesus does not speak and teach of his own wisdom but speaks of God's.
In sharing our humanity Jesus allows us to share his divinity. How? Through the water of Baptism we are baptised in the Name of The Father and of The Son and of the Holy Spirit. This makes us children of God sharing the divinity of Christ. In baptising in the Name of God we are sharing both his divinity and humanity and share the same Spirit that God the Father gave to Jesus. God identifies us with the same voice. We become the beloved, children of God.
The voice we need to listen to is not of the world or of our own. It is God's voice that speaks through Jesus. By sharing both the divinity and humanity of Jesus we share the same mission. The mission has two folds, one is of obeying God, the Father, like Jesus did and the second one is of giving service for others as Jesus did during his public ministry. We share the sonship of Christ by following the footstep of Jesus both in words and in deeds. By doing that we make God's glory shine through our lives. God's glory once was shown through the voice from on high and now it shines through our service of giving to one another.
As children of God we don't need photos or finger prints for our identification what we need is God's love shown through giving service. It is the universal sign and is accepted everywhere on earth in our faith journey. With this identification Jesus happily welcomes us in heaven with the saying:
Come, you that are blessed by my Father. Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the foundation of the world. Mat 25,34
We pray for the gift of being able to understand deeper the meaning of our own baptism and the response to the call of becoming the beloved children of God.