Today, we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus freely humbled himself and presented himself for baptism at the hand of John the Baptist. By his own baptism in the Jordan, Christ manifested high sense of humility and dedicated himself to the redemption of humanity. Jesus took upon himself the sins of the whole world and buried them in the waters of the Jordan.
The Father’s voice from heaven shows that Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Son and the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove proves the triune God. The true and unique God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, proves the existence of the Trinity.
When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove on him; and behold, a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The baptism of Jesus reminds us of our own baptism. The day we were baptized we experienced the same Spirit of God upon us. Through our baptism we are cleansed from original sin, we became Christians, God’s holy people and members of his Church. Our sins washed away and we are set free from darkness. We are baptized with Christ, we die with Christ, and we rise with Christ. This is our faith, this is the faith of the Church.
Jesus entrusted his life to the Father through his own baptism. We too are called to entrust ourselves to Jesus. Jesus bore our infirmities; he was humbled, obedient unto death, and won for us the eternal salvation.
The first reading today emphasized this: “I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” Indeed, it’s means; we are set free from the power of darkness into the light of Christ.
How blessed we are in Jesus to be free indeed. He became the chief corner stone that we might receive his blessings. His baptism brought us hope, light, joy, and freedom. Our dreams have come true in him. Satan has been defeated and put to shame and totally disgraced forever. Amen. Let your joy resound as ever before in God’s presence. The responsorial psalm tells us today that the Lord will bless his people with peace. Indeed we are blessed and favored by God.
Our second reading today tells us that Jesus wants us to have no fear, but to act uprightly and acceptable to him, so we can be blessed more. As Jesus went about doing good, he wants us also to do same through the power of him who strengthens us.
Our God is mightier than any and faithful to his word. He shows no partiality. He keeps his holy covenant with us. John the Baptist proclaimed this in the gospel, saying: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” This is the power of God at work in us. Jesus wants us to make this world a better place and it begins with us.
God is good…all the time.
God bless you.
Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun