Have you ever wondered why Jesus was baptized? Why would the Son of God need to be baptized if he never sinned and did not inherit original sin? Could it be that Jesus and his Father designed his baptism to mark the beginning of his public ministry of teaching and preaching and healing? That Jesus might set the example of our need as humans to be baptized?
John the Baptist, a person chosen by God to prepare the way for Jesus, was baptizing people in the Jordan River with water, all the while telling them that one greater than he would come to baptize them with the Holy Spirit. He even questioned Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you and yet you are coming to me?” Matthew 3.14 The baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ was an announcement by God to the world that Jesus was indeed his Son, and with him, he was well pleased. The heavens opened and the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus. God was present to the world, united as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The fullness of the Trinity was made known to us. It was a prelude to our own baptism. Through water and the Holy Spirit we are made one with God through Jesus Christ. Just as the baptism of Jesus marked the beginning of his public ministry, our baptism marks the beginning of our Christian journey of faith. We are gifted with the Holy Spirit through the waters of baptism and the original sin that we inherited is removed. By our baptism in Jesus Christ, we live in a state of sanctifying grace. Grace is understood as “God’s life in us” – having been baptized, we are blessed by the knowledge that God is indeed part of who
we are. Our baptism allows us to know the love of God in a deep and profound way and it calls us to share God’s life and love with the world. Now, we most likely will not begin a ministry like Jesus, but we know by our shared faith in Jesus Christ that God wants us to “minister” his love to all people. We are to live in love with one another. We are to refrain from judging others and accept each person for the gift they are to the world.
We, like Jesus, are called to reach out to the poor and stand in solidarity to ensure justice for all people. We are to love with all our being, using our hands, our feet and most certainly, our hearts to bring the love of Jesus to others. Our faith journey and how we lived it will be what God will examine in regard to our judgement. We must commit to loving God’s people, to being the hands and feet of Christ in the world, in hope that God might proclaim to the world in regard to each one of us: “This is my son (or daughter) with whom I am well pleased.”
With the love of Christ Jesus,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC