A Reflection On Christ’s Baptism
Baptism of the Lord
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Many of us might be wondering why Jesus, who was sinless, needed to be baptized. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Our Lord voluntarily submitted himself to the baptism of St. John, intended for sinners, in order to ‘fulfill all righteousness.’ Jesus’ gesture is a manifestation of His self-emptying” (1224).
We recently celebrated Christmas, the feast where we rejoice that the Lord wants to be so close to us that He became one of us. Jesus’ baptism is another feast where we celebrate His desire to be close to us. For, even though Jesus was without sin and did not need to be baptized, He chose to be baptized first, as an act of obedience to God the Father, and second, to reveal how He identifies with each of us in our sufferings, joys, hardships, and trials.
As we continue to pass through this difficult time in our nation and world’s history, I would like to reassure everyone that we are not alone. Through our own baptism we each belong to Christ in a unique way. Through baptism, we have entered into the mystery of faith. This mystery tells us that our Lord loves us, that He chose to become one of us, that He suffers, rejoices, and endures trials with us. Jesus is before us, leading the way, encouraging us on, giving us the graces we need to be obedient to the Father’s will, so that one day we too might stand before God and hear Him say: “This is my beloved son/daughter, with whom I am well pleased.”
Yours in Christ,