The Baptism of the Lord

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  The Christmas Season always ends with this feast.  It occurs on the Sunday after Epiphany unless Christmas happens to fall on a Sunday; in that case, in those years, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord is transferred to Monday (the day after Epiphany), and the Christmas Season is shorter.  The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord proclaims a theophany, a manifestation or revelation that Jesus the Lord and Messiah, is the Son of God.  In the Gospel passage from Luke, John explains to those gathered that he is baptizing with water, and says: “but, one mightier than I is coming…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  After Jesus is baptized by John and is praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove.  A voice from heaven said: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”   When Jesus chose to be baptized (even though he did not have to be baptized since he was sinless), it was part of God’s plan for him and for us.  The baptism of Jesus totally changed the meaning of Baptism.  Through his baptism, the water was sanctified.  The identity of Jesus was clearly stated in the voice from heaven: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”  Note what the Gospel says is happening when this takes place: Jesus was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the bodily form of a dove.  This theophany not only revealed Jesus as the Son of God, but it also revealed the Trinitarian nature of God.  Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God was a member of the Blessed Trinity.  In the Church, we are baptized with water (and the Holy Spirit): “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”   As we reflect upon the Baptism of the Lord this week, let us reflect upon our own baptism.  After his baptism, Jesus began his public ministry.  Following our baptism, at some point in our lives we became aware of our discipleship and share in the mission of Christ.  How has our baptism impacted the way in which we live our lives and the ways in which we bring others to Christ?

Morning Prayer: During the Seasons of Advent and Christmas, we have been celebrating Morning Prayer at 9:00 AM on Wednesdays.  After consultation with the Worship Commission and those who attend Morning Prayer, beginning with the month of February (February 6), the time will be changed to 8:30 AM to coincide with the other times of the morning liturgies and to afford those who pray the rosary at 8:00 AM the opportunity to remain for Morning Prayer. 

Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ