A reading from the gospel according to Luke 3:15-16, 21-22:
15 The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.
16 John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
21 After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened
22 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.”
Reflection: The Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus signals the end of the Christmas season. It is celebrated as a great feast especially in Eastern churches where it is called theophany because it is the first public revelation of triune God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. On this particular moment, heaven and earth, the human and the divine are reunited. Heaven is opened and the Holy Spirit descended and the voice of the Father is heard.
The baptism of John is that of repentance meaning it is intended for sinners. That is why in the other accounts, John initially refused to baptize Jesus because He was not a sinner. However Jesus insisted to be baptized for the reason that He identifies Himself with the sinners. By embracing humanity, God became like us except sin.
After Jesus was baptized, the Father’s voice was heard that He was indeed the beloved Son with whom the father is well pleased. In faith, we also believe that after our own baptism, we become sons and daughters of God and then we become heirs of the Kingdom. It is for us that Jesus came to earth because God loves us so much (John 3:16) and after accepting Him as our Lord and savior through baptism, we too are beloved. Isn’t it wonderful therefore that whenever we feel hopeless and abandoned, we always remember that have a Father who will never leave us and who will always love us despite our sinfulness? Don’t we also desire to love Him back and to strive to make our life pleasing to Him?