Mark 1: 7-11
The Baptism of the Lord – Sister Esther Adama, SNDdeN
The Church today celebrates the feast of the Baptism of the Lord which is regarded as the second feast of the Lord’s manifestation after the feast of Epiphany. In both feasts the identity of Jesus was revealed. The celebration of the baptism of the Lord however, brings us to the close of the Christmas season and transitions the Church to the period of the ordinary time of the church’s liturgical calendar.
In today’s gospel of Mark 1:7-11, we read how Jesus came to John for baptism. He who did not sin, whom John described as one who is mightier than he, came to be baptized. Here Jesus portrayed the great virtues of humility, love and care. His stepping into the Jordan River and allowing himself to be baptized by John is an indication that Jesus unites His baptism with that of John and our own baptism as well. Through this singular act Jesus also bonds Himself with our humanity and everything it entails except sin.
Reflecting on the baptism of our Lord, we discover that something great happened at this event, that the heavens were immediately opened and the spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove, showing the presence of the Trinity. At our baptism too, the Trinitarian community was fully present and at work in our lives to cleanse us of all sins and make us members of God’s family. By that we are identified as God’s children, one family, and we become one in the spirit. No wonder Jesus instructed the apostles in Matthew 29:19 to make disciples of all nations by saying that those who believe are to be baptized in the Trinitarian formula which the Church has carried it out even until this day.
Since Jesus unites his baptism with ours, it means that at our baptism, God also spoke the same words we heard spoken to Jesus during His own baptism. “You are my beloved Son/ daughter; with you I am well pleased.” I encourage us to take sometime during this week to reflect on that statement. We can pray with our imagination and replay our own baptism, then ask ourselves who was there? What did God say to me?
We are no strangers to the current Covid 19 situation which has claimed lives and still does. Despite that we can ask, “Is God well pleased with us?” Jesus calls us to unite our suffering world to the passion of Jesus Christ and be thankful to Him who has led us thus far. We who are baptized in Christ are also baptized into his death and resurrection. Therefore, Jesus takes on our humanity and shares with us His divinity and glory. In this current situation we are reminded by God through the same words, that we are His children, held in divine tenderness and love. God still cares and will not abandon us. Sometimes we wonder how and when the world will be freed from the chaos we are in at this time. Let us be encouraged because by virtue of our baptism we are His children, we have His image and identity. He has promised to be with us, He will journey with us through this confusing epoch. At God’s own time He will work things out to His own glory. Until then let us continue in love, and live genuinely with one another as God’s children irrespective of backgrounds, nationality, tribe and religions.
Mark 1: 7-11
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.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Meet Sister Esther Adama, SNDdeN