THE LORDS BAPTISM

(White) Cycle C/Year II (January 9, 2022)

Is 42:1-4, 6-7/Acts 10:34-38/Lk 3:15-16, 21-22

John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the coming of the Messiah. Almost all his life he lived in the desert, fasting and praying. And when the time for him to do his mission, he went to the Jordan River and preached the baptism of repentance. Many believed in him and came to him asking advice and requesting baptism. Jesus also came and willed to be baptized by John. After the baptism of the Lord, the heavens were opened, the Spirit of God descended on Jesus in the form of a dove and the voice of God was heard saying: โ€œYou are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleasedโ€ (Lk 3:22).

The Baptism of our Lord is actually the first formal manifestation of God the Trinity to humanity. There we see the First Person, the Father, symbolized by the voice of God; the Second Person who incarnated in Jesus Christ; and the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, who descended from the Father to the Son in the form of a dove. The baptism is also the opening of the heavens which was closed from the moment man committed the Original Sin through our first parents Adam and Eve. With Christโ€™s baptism, forgiveness is given to humanity and the graces coming from God can thus be shared with humanity through the incarnated God, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

In the Baptism of Jesus, God reveals that Jesus Christ is His Only Son. Indeed, Jesus is the Son of God by his divine nature because he is the second person of the Trinity whose whole being he receives directly and continuously from the Father. When the Father says that Christ is His Son, He reveals to humanity that Christ comes from heaven and is present on the earth for a mission which would be to save all humankind from slavery into sin. On the other hand, God also makes known that divine sonship or filiation is a state that is not only received but that must also be proven by deeds. And Jesus Christ proves this by his perfect obedience to the will of God the Father. All the things that Jesus Christ does are according to the will of God and for His glory. He even declares that his food is to do the will of his heavenly Father. Such perfect obedience of Christ to the will of his Father is seen when agonizing in the garden of Gethsemane he says: โ€œNot my will but your will be doneโ€ and when crucified, he offers his life to God saying, โ€œInto your hands Lord, I commend my Spirit.โ€

As we remember the feast of the Lordโ€™s Baptism, we also recognize the fact that God is telling us: โ€œYou are my son!โ€ Indeed, we are now children of God through the Paschal Mystery of Christ and through our sharing in it when we received the Sacrament of Baptism. Yet, such dignity of being the children of God calls for us towards responsibility which is to prove in our lives that indeed we are children of God. The only means of proving that we are children of God is by living the life of Christ which is none other than the perfect obedience to the will of God, our heavenly Father. We are then called to obey the will of God manifested in the Bible, the teachings of Christ, and of His Church.

Christ is the only Son of God by nature while we are children of God by adoption. He is the only perfect Son and his obedience is also perfect. On the other hand, we are weak as man and we constantly fall into sin. We are not then perfect in obedience to the will of God. Godโ€™s call for obedience for us then demands that we accept our own weaknesses and ask forgiveness for our sinfulness. Then we are called to do our best to obey Godโ€™s Will by sacrificing our vices, sins, and all our activities that are not in accordance with the will of God and then by striving to be faithful to Jesusโ€™ teachings. Perfect obedience for us then is manifested in our honest to goodness willingness and zealousness to obey the will of God.

The Blessed Mother is our model in becoming like Jesus Christ as the Son of God. She was chosen to be the mother of the Son of God because first of all, she was a faithful daughter of God. She obeyed the will of God as manifested in her words: โ€œFiat! Let it be done to me according to your word.โ€ Let us then ask her intercessions so that through her prayers, we may become like her, faithful in doing the will of God and that we may glorify God by living our daily lives as children of God. (COLUMN OF REV. FR. ORLANDO MENDOZA)

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