We have arrived at the end of the Christmas Season! In the Catholic Church, the Christmas season concludes with the feast of the Baptism of Jesus. The season highlights the events of the hidden years of the life of Jesus: birth, infancy, childhood, and up to His Baptism. They showed the drama of the mystery of the Incarnation (God becomes human) and how Jesus grew in “wisdom and grace” while belonging to a human family.
We hear from John the Baptist today,” He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire….
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened, and 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.”
Jesus’ baptism by John was a very important event in the life of Jesus. First, it was a moment of decision. It marked the end of Jesus’ private life which has prepared him for his public ministry. Second, it was a moment of identification. With his people in their movements towards God, a movement by John the Baptist. Third, it was a moment of approval. During His baptism, it was the approval of God the Father’s Beloved Son. Fourth, it was a moment of conviction. At this baptism, Jesus received certainties and assurances from heaven about His identity and the nature of His mission. He was the chosen and beloved Son of God. His mission of saving mankind would be fulfilled.
The baptism of Jesus reminds us of our own identity and mission as Christian. First, it reminds us of who we are and whom we are. By baptism, we become the adopted sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, Members of the Catholic Church, Heirs of Heaven, and Temples of the Holy Spirit. We became incorporated into the Church, the mystical Body of Christ, and made sharers in the priesthood of Christ.
Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life. It is the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Second, Jesus’s Baptism reminds us of our mission. The mission is to experience the presence of God within us and to acknowledge our identity as God’s children. Nevertheless, to appreciate the divine presence in others by honoring them, loving them, and serving them in humility and sincerity. It is a mission to live as Children of God in thought, words, and action. So that our Heavenly Father may say to each one of us what He said to Jesus during His baptism. “You are my beloved son or daughter with whom I am well pleased.” It means we allow God to direct our thoughts. His mind guides our mind. His concerns are our concerns. His heart is our heart.
The mission is to lead a holy and a transparent Christian life and not to desecrate our bodies which are temples of the Holy Spirit and members of Jesus’s body by the impurity, injustice, intolerance, jealousy and hatred. It is a mission to grow daily and intimacy with God through personal and community, family prayers; by reading the Word of God, participation in the Holy Mass and by the sacrament of reconciliation.
And finally, it is a mission to be co-creators with God; to build His kingdom on earth. A kingdom of compassion, justice, and love; to be the salt of the earth and the light of the World. God has called us to help others to see through the love that we show and the help that we give. That God loves them. This is also a day to renew our baptismal promises. Consecrating ourselves to the Holy Trinity and rejecting Satan and his false promises which our profane world is constantly offering us through its mass media communication. A lot of fake news. Information that influences our minds and decisions.
Let us thank God today for the privilege of being joined to His mission, of preaching the Good News by our transparent Christian lives of love, mercy, service and forgiveness.
Reina del Carmelo Community