January 10, 2016 — The Baptism of the Lord
Is 42: 1-4, 6-7; Ps 29: 1-4, 9-10; Acts 10: 34-38; Lk 3: 15-16, 21-22
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. This officially brings to an end the season of Christmas. You might say this is a second Epiphany. It is important to us as Catholics and Christians because it represents a second creation involving the entire Trinity.
In fact in the Eastern Church this feast is called Theophany because God appears in three persons. Jesus the Son is baptized; the Holy Spirit descends upon Him; and God declares “You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”
We recall our own Baptism on this day, because Christ’s Baptism represents in many ways what occurred at our Baptism. At Christ’s Baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. At our Baptism the Trinity occupied our soul; Christ was declared the “Beloved Son”; at our Baptism we became a child of God. At Jesus’ Baptism the heavens were opened, and at our Baptism heaven was opened to us.
On this Holy Day we need to reflect upon our own Baptismal calls — calls to live and love on this earth, a command to seek holiness, to actively be disciples of Christ, calls which can be achieved in part by embracing stewardship as a way of life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1213) states: “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the door which gives access to the other sacraments. We are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.”