Baptism of the Lord

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Baptism of the Lord

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
During the weeks of Advent we prepared our hearts and reflected on the mystery of Christ’s birth – the Son of God taking flesh to dwell among us to become Emmanuel, God-with-us. Today’s feast, the Baptism of the Lord, brings us to the end of our Christmas season and the start of a new liturgical cycle, Ordinary Time, which will highlight the public ministry of Jesus.

All four evangelists recorded the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and we may wonder just why Jesus lined up for John’s baptismal ritual of repentance. After all, Jesus was the sinless One! It was no mere accident that Jesus caught up with John in the wilderness, as Matthew tells us clearly in today’s gospel that Jesus deliberately “came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptised by him.” His baptism was a pivotal point, a deeply spiritual experience in Jesus’ life, for he was at that time “filled with the Spirit.” Matthew implies that Jesus himself saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Such an outpouring of the Spirit was the preparation that launched Jesus into his public ministry of teaching, healing and proclaiming the Kingdom. After the death of Jesus his disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and then they, too, continued the mission of Jesus to which you and I are called.

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