Gospel Mt 3:13-17
The baptism of Jesus marks
the beginning of his public life.
As he enters the waters of the
Jordan River, he receives the
formal investiture as the long-awaited
whom the Father’s favor rests.
Jesus came from Galilee
to John at the Jordan to be
baptized by him. John tried to
prevent him, saying, “I need to
be baptized by you, and yet you
are coming to me?” Jesus said
to him in reply, “Allow it now,
for thus it is fitting for us to
fulfill all righteousness.” Then
John allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water
and behold, the heavens were
opened for him, and he saw
the Spirit of God descending
like a dove and coming upon
him. And a voice came from
the heavens, saying, “This is
my beloved Son, with whom I
am well pleased.”
John the Baptist has been telling the people about the coming of the Messiah and the need to repent from sins. Many heeded his call and asked to be baptized by him. When Jesus Christ himself asked John to baptize Him, John was hesitant. Sinners came to him to cleanse themselves of their sins but here was Jesus, the Son of God, who is all good and pure, asking to be baptized as well.
John believed that it was Jesus who should be baptizing him. Jesus prevailed on him to do it because it was as it should be. When Jesus underwent baptism, it was to show his oneness with man, being a God who became man. The Baptism of Our Lord at Jordan River served as the formal introduction of Jesus by God the Father when the heavens opened up for the descent of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism to the faithful is a call for love and service as we do our part in Jesus Christ’s priestly, prophetic, and kingly mission.