"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." – Mk 1:11

I often find this particular passage from Mark’s Gospel in the midst of my prayer. Whether on retreat, daily prayer, or just popping in my head while I’m stuck in traffic; I find myself drawn to this image of Jesus emerging from the Jordan as water falls off of his magnificent beard. Then, this booming voice, which sounds a lot like James Earl Jones, calls down from the heavens “You are my beloved Son.” It’s so often dramatized that I get lost in the simplicity of the event: a parent affirming a child.

s a child, I never really appreciated the value of affirmation, especially verbal affirmations, though I did not lack in them. This is an area where I often need to grow in my relationships. Verbalizing what somebody means to me or letting someone know that they have done well does not come naturally to me. As a teacher, I have spent much of my time coming to understand and experience the impact that something as simple as a “good job” can have on a person. This simple action builds confidence, encourages actions, and strengthens bonds. This act of simple love can truly make somebody’s day.

Though the scripture passage today marks the beginning of Christ’s ministry (a monumental event), it also speaks to the simplicity of the Gospel message. Let us take a moment today and go to offer up an act of love for someone else.

When do I pass up opportunities that could make somebody’s day better? How do I show my appreciation for the ones whom I love? What can I do to better show God’s love in the little ways?

Matthew Keppel