On Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of The Baptism of The Lord, a transition feast from the Christmas season into Ordinary Time. For some, it may also be a time of transition in the sense that New Year’s Resolutions have been made and the commitment to bringing them to fruition.
And so it is providential that at this time of transition and renewal we are reminded of our Baptism and invited to recommit to the promises made by us, or our parents and godparents. We have been baptized priest, prophet, and king and, as such, are commissioned to lead others to Christ, to preach his Good News, and to offer the gift of our lives in selfless service.
Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins and much more. In Baptism we are sealed – marked – as Christ’s own forever. It is through Baptism that we are incorporated and embodied into the household of Christ and come to bear the family name, Christian.
Because of our Baptism sin and death do not have the last word in our lives; forgiveness of sin and eternal life do. Baptism not only changes our status but also inaugurates a life-long process; a process to which we do not passively submit but actively commit.
All the Gospels make it clear that it was with the Baptism by John in the Jordan that marked the beginning of Jesus’ mission. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and prepared him to carry out God’s plan of redemption. In our own Baptism, we “put on” Christ and thereby also “put on” his mission of a life lived in service, gratitude, and fidelity.
Over time and with experience we grow to maturity as human beings, appreciating more and more fully both our roots and our potential. So too with Baptism. We grow over time in understanding and appreciating its meaning and its power and our responsibility to bringing it to fruition—bearing fruit!
Root yourself in God’s word!