The Baptism of the Lord

Jan 6, 2021 | Gospel Reflections

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

Esther Jumai Adama comes from Odagbo in Ankpa L. G. A. of Kogi State in Nigeria. She was born on the 27th March, 1970 to the family of the late Mr. Adama Ameloke and Mrs. Alice Adi Adama, both from the same Local Government Area. She is the second child in a family of ten children. Esther had her primary education at Ja’faru Estate Primary School Kabala-Doki in Kaduna State. The last part of her secondary education was at the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Bida, Niger State. Her desire and inspiration to become a religious started as far back as 1988. This burning desire prompted her to embark on teaching catechism to children both in the main parish and the out-stations of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Kagara, Niger State. The parish priest, Fr. Oliver O’Reilly, inquired about her future ambitions. She said that she would love to work for God through service to the poor, as a Sister. When her parents learned about her desire, they were not pleased. In response to God’s call, she joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on January 7th 1995. After her postulancy and Novitiate program, Sr. Esther made her first profession on November 15,1997 in Kulende, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. Her first mission was to Uzairue, Edo State to teach at St. Philip’s N/Pschool. In 1998, she gained admission to the Federal College of Education, Kontagora and graduated with her N.C.E qualification in 2001. Then, she was missioned to practice her field at St. Peter’s N/P school Ndeabor, Enugu State. On June 4, 2002, Sr. Esther was sent to the United States to study in a theological and formation programme at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL. On her return to Nigeria, she worked as Assistant Novice Directress for about two years in Ilorin, Kwara State. Later, she went for her Tertianship in preparation for final vows which she made on September 17, 2005. Since then, Sr. Esther has been working as Postulant Directress at the SND Postulate in Kenya. With openness and generosity, Sr. Esther says that the journey so far has not been easy, but it has been interesting and challenging. She comes from a typical Muslim background where embracing religious life is regarded as counter cultural. She attributes all: to God be the glory. She prays that our God who began this work in her will bring it to perfection.