Sunday, January 12, 2014
1ST SUNDAY ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
Was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized, as we do? Of course not.
With that gesture, he wanted to show that he had become one of us. Above all, he wanted to put an end to the baptism of "water" and inaugurate that "of the Spirit." It was not the water in the Jordan that sanctified Jesus, but Jesus who sanctified the water.
The feast of the Baptism of Jesus is the annual occasion to reflect on our own baptism. A question people often ask themselves about baptism is: Why baptize small children? Why not wait until they are older and can decide freely for themselves? It is a serious question, but it can conceal a deceit. In procreating a child and giving him life, do parents first ask for his permission? Convinced that life is an immense gift, they rightly assume that one day the child will be grateful for it. A person is not asked for permission to be given a gift, and baptism is essentially this: the gift of life given to man by the merits of Christ.
Of course, all this assumes that the parents themselves are believers and have the intention to help the child develop the gift of faith. The Church acknowledges their decisive competency in this area and does not want a child to be baptized against their will.
Remembering today, that our parents carried us to church to be baptized, should show us the importance that:
1) Baptism is an initiation into the people of God;
2) Baptism is a call to discipleship; and
3) Baptism is a commissioning to go into the outside world and proclaim Christ. In a nutshell we must live the EPIPHANY - which means Christ showing himself to the world.
His first Epiphany was his birth in Betlehem; He had shown himself to humble people because his own people refused to accept Him,
the second occasion was when the Magi came to adore Him and offer Him their presents
and lastly when He was baptized at the Jordan and the Word of God proclaimed Him to be His Beloved Son - HEAR HIM.