Baptism of the Lord
January 08, 2018
Feast of the Baptism
of the Lord
Isaiah 42: 1-4; 6-7
2nd Reading: Acts 10:34-38
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
In fulfilling his role to prepare the way of the Lord, John baptized people at the Jordan. By this he opened the hearts of people to repentance to prepare them for the coming of the Lord. To John’s surprise, Jesus also lined up to be baptized by him. “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” John protested. John knew that Jesus did not need to undergo such baptism because he was spotless. He had no sins to repent about. Jesus, however, insisted, saying, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
“Allow it for now” is a plea for exemption. How humble of Jesus to do so! He sought the exemption because he also wanted to do the righteous thing. In so doing he declared John’s baptism “the righteous thing to do”. In the end he was able to say he did every righteous thing that a human being could do. In so doing he identified himself with humanity. In effect he made righteous all those who underwent baptism by John.
If Jesus had made righteous all who underwent John’s baptism at the Jordan, what more could we said of us? We have been baptized not by the waters of the Jordan but by the waters of sacramental baptism. In it we were reborn in water and spirit. Our baptism made us adopted children of God. It impressed upon us an indelible mark, for which reason baptism can never be repeated. Baptism has literally opened for us the fountain of graces because with it we can already avail of the other sacraments. That is why the devil can never have a claim over us, unless we voluntarily open our hearts to him. Human nature may weigh us down, making us bend more towards the devil than towards God. But grace is never wanting to those who ask.
As we celebrate the feast of the baptism of the Lord let us renew our baptismal promises and re-consecrate ourselves to him. -(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M., Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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