Today’s celebration of the Baptism of the Lord closes our Christmas season, and it marks the start of Jesus’ public ministry. Sound familiar? Indeed, as at our Baptism, we begin to share in the mission of Jesus Christ. Jesus accepts the baptism from his cousin, John, not because he needed this baptism of repentance, but because of his desire to share fully in our humanity.
When the servant John, baptizes his Master, Jesus, we see that even at the very start of his public life, Jesus shows us that he is a servant-leader. Recall Jesus’ words later in the gospel: ”just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mt20:28)
After Jesus’ Baptism, he proclaimed: “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mk1:15)
Jesus says of his mission: “…I must announce the good news of the reign of God, because that is why I was sent.” (Lk4:43)
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. (Lk16:16)
Jesus told his disciples: “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Lk7:28)
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mk10:15)
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom14:17)
“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit’”. (Jn3:5) This is our Baptism, a baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Let us renew the commitment to serve, that which we first received at our Baptism…so that others will repent and believe and know that the kingdom of God is in their midst!
May your new year be blessed!