Baptism of the Lord


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Baptism of the Lord—Feast

Sunday after Epiphany
Or, if Epiphany is celebrated on January 7 or 8, the following Monday
Liturgical Color: White/Gold
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Quote:
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased
.” ~Mark 1:9–11

Reflection: The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a liturgical bridge that connects the Christmas season to Ordinary Time. During the Christmas season we pondered the Incarnation, Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, and Epiphany. Today, we see Jesus manifesting Himself to the world as He began His three years of public ministry.

Jesus begins His ministry through an act of deep solidarity with the fallen human race. John the Baptist had been preaching in the desert and offering a baptism of repentance. John’s baptism was not the same as our baptism today. Instead, it was only a sign of one’s willingness to turn away from sin and turn toward God. Jesus, of course, had nothing to repent of. He was sinless in every way. But that didn’t stop Him from freely choosing to receive the baptism of repentance. Why would He do that?

Simply put, Jesus chose to unite Himself with fallen humanity, taking upon Himself our own sins and suffering their consequences. He humbly allowed Himself to be identified as a sinner in need of repentance. This was done out of love for us and out of His longing to become one with us so that we could become one with Him.

By bowing His sacred head to receive the baptism of repentance, Jesus united Himself and His divinity to everyone who had already chosen to repent. And He gave power to every forthcoming act of repentance others would make, even until today. When we repent today, we meet Jesus in that same water of repentance.

It was not only the Eternal Son Who was present at that baptism of repentance, but the Father and the Holy Spirit as well. The Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and the Father’s Voice spoke to acknowledge His oneness with His Son. Therefore, every time we make a humble act of repentance, such as when we combine the crucifixion, the Trinity, and holy water upon entering a church and blessing ourselves, we not only meet our Lord but also receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and share more fully in our adoption as sons and daughters of the Father in Heaven.

As we commemorate Jesus’ baptism liturgically, we celebrate the fact that our Christian baptism was the beginning of this new unity with the Holy Trinity. But we also celebrate our oneness with God, which is renewed every time we make an interior act of repentance for our sins. If we fully understood what happens every time we acknowledge our sins and repent of them, we would never grow tired of repenting. Every time we acknowledge and repent of our sin, we meet Christ anew, receive a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and affirm and deepen our adoption by the Father in Heaven.

Prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You came to me in my baptism and united me in my fallenness with You in Your divinity. I pray that I will continuously be aware of all that divides us and will never grow weary of repenting of my sin. I do repent once again, dear Lord. I beg for Your mercy and forgiveness and open myself more fully to You, Your Father, and the Holy Spirit. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I trust in You.

Reflection taken from:

Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year
Volumes One–Four


Further reading on other sites:

Pope Saint John Paul II

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Francis

Scott Hahn

Catholic Culture

Wikipedia

Catholic Saints & Feasts

All Saints for the Liturgical Year


(Short Version)

Baptism of the Lord—Feast

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a liturgical bridge that connects the Christmas season to Ordinary Time. During the Christmas season we pondered the Incarnation, Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, and Epiphany. Today, we see Jesus manifesting Himself to the world as He began His three years of public ministry.

John the Baptist had been preaching in the desert and offering a baptism of repentance, a sign of one’s willingness to turn away from sin and turn toward God. Jesus, of course, was sinless in every way, but he chose to receive the baptism of repentance to unite Himself with fallen humanity. Out of love for us, he took upon Himself our own sins and would suffer their consequences.

By bowing His sacred head to receive the baptism of repentance, Jesus united Himself and His divinity to everyone who had already chosen to repent. And He gave power to every forthcoming act of repentance others would make, even until today. When we repent today, we meet Jesus in that same water of repentance.

It was not only the Eternal Son Who was present at that baptism of repentance, but the Father and the Holy Spirit as well. The Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and the Father’s Voice spoke to acknowledge His oneness with His Son. Therefore, every time we make a humble act of repentance, such as when we combine the crucifixion, the Trinity, and holy water upon entering a church and blessing ourselves, we not only meet our Lord but also receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and share more fully in our adoption as sons and daughters of the Father in Heaven.

As we commemorate Jesus’ baptism, we celebrate the fact that our Christian baptism was the beginning of a new unity with the Holy Trinity. We also celebrate our oneness with God, which is renewed every time we make an interior act of repentance for our sins. Every time we acknowledge and repent of our sin, we meet Christ anew, receive a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and affirm and deepen our adoption by the Father in Heaven.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You came to me in my baptism and united me in my fallenness with You in Your divinity. I pray that I will never grow weary of repenting of my sin. I beg for Your mercy and forgiveness and open myself more fully to You, Your Father, and the Holy Spirit. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I trust in You.

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