Caeli aperti sunt caeli et vox Patris intonuit: “Hic est Filius meus dilectus, audite illum.”
The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered: “This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him (Alleluia Verse, Holy Mass, Mark 9:7).”
Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. In this singular act, Our Lord Jesus publicly demonstrates that He is the “Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.” In all humility, Jesus – though sinless – nonetheless allows Himself to be counted among sinners, so that through His humility and sacrifice our fallen humanity might be redeemed.
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of His sandals. I have baptized you with water; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are My beloved Son, with You I am well pleased (Mark 1: 7-11).”
In this moment of Christ’s baptism, we experience the tangible presence of the Most Blessed Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are truly manifest, distinct yet unified. God the Father announces to heaven and earth that Jesus Christ is His beloved Son, the One in Whom He is well pleased. In that instant we clearly comprehend that Christ perfectly embodies the Will of the Father: Jesus accepts His role as Suffering Servant and with it anticipates His baptism into death for the remission of the sins of all humanity. The Father Loves the Son, and acknowledges that He is pleased with Jesus for perfectly conforming to His Divine Will. The Holy Spirit – the Divine reflection of the Love that exists between the first two persons of the Blessed Trinity – visibly demonstrates the reality of this unity of Supernatural Love.
The Baptism of Jesus is replete with grace and meaning. It is the inauguration of Christ’s public ministry. Through it we are given a glimpse of the glory of God, and of the life that we are called to emulate if we are to attain the eternal joy for which we are created. Just as Christ humbly accepts His eternal role as mediator for our sins, we too must humbly accept our own baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ. As Christ takes on our human flesh and blood, so we too must be willing to embrace the salvific action of His Flesh and Blood. Through the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, we are given the privilege to embrace this very mystery of our salvation each and every day.
At our own Baptism, we profoundly encountered the Most Blessed Trinity, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit became truly manifest in our lives. At the moment our souls were cleansed of Original Sin, we became adopted children of the Heavenly Father. Now armed with Sanctifying Grace, we endeavor to live worthy lives, such that one day, when we shall appear before the throne of the Most High, we too may hear: “You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”
Blessed Feast of the Baptism of The Lord,
Ad Jesum per Mariam,