“JESUS COMES OUT OF THE WATER, DRAWING THE WORLD WITH HIM, AS IT WERE, RAISING IT UP WHEN IT HAD HITHERTO BEEN SUNK IN THE ABYSS.” (A Christmas Sourcebook, p. 146).
Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. It celebrates John’s baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River. But it also reminds us that Jesus immersed himself fully in our humanity. His baptism also began his public ministry, as he attempted to bring the love of the Father up close and personal to the people he would meet along the way. Jesus wanted them to know that God became present for them through him and his ministry, although he never called attention to himself. Jesus never brought people to the law or to doctrine, but always brought them to the Father. His relationship with the Father was personal and intimate, and each time he was in prayer, he continued that unique relationship. This is the relationship that he tried to teach his apostles, and it became evident in the way he responded to the needs of the people.
Today’s feast also brings a close to the Christmas Season. While Christmas need for many on December 26, the church reminds us that the baptism and ministry of Jesus are important experiences for us to celebrate, so we end Christmas today.
Each of us were also baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thus experiencing for ourselves that same personal and intimate relationship that was so critical to Jesus and his ministry. But, for many of us, our baptism took place when we were infants, and so we don’t remember it. But our parents and godparents spoke in our name, and now we are the ones who need to speak and act in the name of the Lord. By virtue of our baptism, we have accepted the responsibility to live as a faithful disciple and follower of Jesus. It is through us, our words and actions that Jesus takes on a human face. We are entrusted with the secrets of Jesus’ heart and the Kingdom of God, What we do with this depends on how serious we are about bringing the Good News of Jesus to others, and helping to make the Kingdom of God a reality for the people we meet each day.
HAPPY BAPTISM OF THE LORD!!