Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This feast marks the culmination of the Christmas season. Tomorrow, we will begin Ordinary Time. Ash Wednesday will be on February 26th.
Why were we baptized? To wash, to remove original sin and to become adoptive sons and daughters of God. And our Lord Jesus? He has no original sin. Why was He baptized? For the sake of righteousness (the will of the Father) solidarity and humility (the Incarnation continually unfolding) and to initiate His Mission. The Holy One, The Most Pure Jesus allowed himself to be baptized so He could be one with us in the journey of renewing human reality except sin. He’s telling us: “I am ready to suffer, die and rise again for you and with you.” This is the mission of Christmas – the Incarnation (toward the Passion and Resurrection)! Jesus fully embraces our humanity to sanctify it so that we might become children of God.
The baptism of the Lord has purified and renewed our sinful human nature — to a consecrated nature. Consecrated, con-secrare in Latin, means “being with the sacred”! Only in God, can we be saints! Without God, we are nobody but useless dust and ashes!
The good news, with His baptism, Our Lord Jesus is ready to redeem us from sin and death.
Remember also, when we were baptized, we have gained a deeper relationship with God. Let us briefly recall our baptismal promises:
Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?
Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, in Jesus Christ, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit?
These promises teach us that our baptism did not happen in one day. Our baptism is a daily commitment and a process that we live, participate and share in the mission of Christ. Through baptism, through “Christening”, we are and become “another Christs”, thus we are:
Priest – to sanctify ourselves and everything that we do.
Prophet – to proclaim, teach and witness to others our Faith, Hope and Love.
King – to be holy and loving examples and courageous servants. “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News!”
Baptism reminds us that we are baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We belong to God as his children and are called to be saints. In the name of God, our actions shine with holiness, “doing little with great love”. Holiness is who we are. But still, do we choose that we belong to God, that we are His “beloved”? If we only believe and live that we are beloved children of God, this can dramatically change the way we live and see things and the direction of our lives.
Can we still hear the Father afirming us: “You are my beloved Son, my beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased …”?
Tomorrow begins Ordinary Time. Its color is green. Ordinariness for us disciples is not monotony. Rather, it’s bearing the fruits of all our Advent preparations and Christmas rejoicing. Faithfulness is proven in moments of the ordinary.
“I am ready to suffer, die and rise again for you and with you.”