The Sacrament of Baptism
The Baptism of the Lord
“And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased” (Mk 1:9-11).
In Baptism, we are brought to Christ and united to the mystery of His death and Resurrection. In this effective sign of our purified life and heart, we acknowledge the Messianic identity of Jesus Christ and celebrate His reign. May our baptized lives, nurtured by the Sacraments, testify to those in darkness and confirm the truth of Jesus’ identity, just as the Holy Spirit did in the Jordan.]
“Jesus did not need to be baptized, but the first theologians say that, with His body, with His divinity, in the Baptism He blessed all the waters, so that water would have the power to give baptism. And then, before ascending to Heaven, Jesus told us to go into all the world to baptize. And from that day until the present day, this has been an unbroken chain: they baptized their children, and their children [baptized] their children, and their children… And so goes the chain of faith! What does this mean? I would just tell you this: you are the ones that transmit the faith, the transmitters, you have a duty to pass on the faith to these children. It’s the most beautiful legacy that you leave to them: the faith! Only this. Today, take this thought home with you. We must be transmitters of the faith. Think about this, always think of how to transmit the faith to the children.”1
Through baptism Jesus symbolically immersed himself in our humanity.
By allowing himself to be immersed in the waters of the Jordan, Jesus symbolically immersed himself in our humanity. Jesus showed the way to conversion by coming among us to live out his life in our presence, so we could live out our life in his presence. He showed us the way, though he himself did not need conversion and purification. All four gospels narrate the Baptism of Jesus, indicating its importance. Its significance is that it identifies Jesus with sinful humanity whom he came to save. It is the beginning of the ministry that will forever forge the direction of God's relationship with his people. Baptism makes each of us privileged as chosen servant, and following on that, a suffering servant.2