The Baptism of Jesus
Reflection on the Gospel of the Sunday: The Baptism of the Lord
The Greek meaning of the word Baptism is ‘to immerse’. Well that literally means to immerse into the water. But why? It’s a symbolic act of holding one’s breath of life, basically dying under water only to emerge from the water to breathe in a new breath of life – Dying to the old self and reborn into the new. It has just been a few days since we celebrated the New Year, most of us have reflected on our lives in 2021 and would like to see some positive changes in our lives for 2022. So, what’s the plan ahead? How do we begin? The Gospel of today has some clues.
The plan ahead is to discern God’s plan for our lives. John the Baptist knew that he had to prepare the way for the arrival of Jesus and he did just that by asking people to repent of their sinful ways. Therefore, John’s Baptism was a baptism of repentance to purify or cleanse the people of God before the arrival of the Messiah. However, John himself later testifies that his baptism will be different compared to the Baptism through Jesus. Jesus will baptize his people with the fire of the Holy Spirit. It is the same Holy Spirit that guides and strengthens the Church today. Each of us through the Sacrament of Baptism have been brought into a filial Covenantal relationship with God and have certainly received the Holy Spirit. In fact, we received a booster dose of the Holy Spirit while receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Having received the Holy Spirit, why is it then that most of us are unable to discern the plan of God, heal our brokenness, receive guidance and strength from the Holy Spirit to transform our lives?
The scene of Jesus’ Baptism describes the opening of the heavens, the decent of the Holy Spirit and the speaking of God the Father when Jesus is at prayer. Yes, communication is a two way process – To hear and discern God plan we need to be open in our hearts, we need to talk to Jesus in prayer and Jesus will respond back to you in His words written in scripture. Scripture will convict, guide, heal, strengthen and transform us through the Power, gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.
So let us grow more deeper in our relationship with Jesus having a conversational prayer and listen to His words through the promptings of the Holy Spirit in scripture, living an enriched abundant life according to His good plan for us.