Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.
In Matthew 3: 13 – 17 we hear the familiar story: “Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he 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.”
Most of us do only know of our own baptism from pictures and the stories people tell us. When we were baptized, we were marked with the cross drawn on our foreheads and this is the true sign of our faith. We were baptized and the stain of “original sin” was removed from us and we became a child of God. Our baptism was not the same as Jesus’ in the Jordan River and we are continually called to live out our baptismal call to be a child of God. We are always loved and cared about by our God. May we take some time today to recall our baptism and to remember that we are a beloved child of God and that God is pleased with us!
Pat Schifini, OSU