When Jesus, was baptized by John in the River Jordan the heavens opened up, the Spirit of God came down upon him and the voice of the Father declared, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). At his Baptism the Trinity is fully present and Jesus is manifested as a divine person, the son of God . Such is the mystery of Jesus’ Baptism - “a regeneration through water and in the word” which he offers us. He underwent this rebirth for ‘the sake of righteousness” for the purpose of creating a path for his followers to regain their lost identity as God’s children and servants.
On a day like this we recall our own Baptism, the door to Christian life, ‘the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (CCC 1213). After being plunged into the water of Baptism, we emerge as a new creature and our identity is changed. We, like Jesus are declared by the father as his sons and daughters. We are new creatures and our identities are changed forever! Not only are we redeemed from the crushing weight of sin, we are liberated for mission, as “a light for the nations” (is 42:6) and sent to go “about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Such is the power of Baptism.
As we conclude the season of Christmas and begin the
ordinary time of the liturgical year, let us do so with this awareness of our regeneration and renewal, of our identity as God’s children through anointing with the Holy Spirit. We have been empowered spiritually by our Baptism, let’s use the grace of our Baptism to accomplish good works for our parish and the world. As you renew your baptismal vows today, as you renounce Satan and accept the Lordship of Christ, remember you are automatically called to mission, to bring the light of Christ to the world. How do you plan to live out your baptismal mission to and for our parish this year? You have the power, will you use it in the service of your brothers and sisters?
In Christ our Hope,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, O.P.