Jesus is God’s very dear Son and his Christ. His baptism authenticates him so. And he will baptize whomever believes in him with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Receiving prayerfully John’s baptism of repentance, Jesus shows once again that he is one with us sinful human beings. But he is also manifested at the same time as God’s beloved Son and pleasing Servant. He is the one who has the fullness of the Holy Spirit and power. At once God and man, then, Jesus makes possible for us “at-one-ment” with God.
Moreover, those who receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit and drink of the Spirit’s power make up one body (1 Cor 12, 13). And it does not matter of what race, tongue, people or nation we are. For God shows no partiality; everyone who is in awe of him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.
And Jesus’ baptism heightens awareness of his oneness with God and human beings. So also should our own baptism lead us to a similar awareness. We should have the conviction of Etty Hillesum. That is to say, ours must be her belief “that humanity forms a chain whose links are welded to each other.” We should say with her:
I have a duty to live in the best way and with the utmost conviction, until the last breath: then my successor will no longer have to start all over again, and with so much effort.
Indeed, we should reveal the truth that we are “in debt” to others and have to live “in favor” of others.
Lord Jesus, our baptism brings us into communion with you and others. May we rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, so that we may be truly Christian and fully human (SV.EN XII:222).
13 January 2019
Baptism of the Lord (C)
Is 42, 1-4. 6-7; Acts 10, 34-38; Lk 3, 15-16. 21-22