Today’s Gospel from Luke 3:15–16, 2:21–22 is a little bit about John the Baptist preparing the people for the coming of Jesus, and then quickly moves into Jesus being baptized by John. The real meat of this Gospel comes in the last third of the reading. Jesus is baptized and then prays. The heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove. A voice comes from heaven saying, “You are my beloved son; with you, I am well pleased.”
What a beautiful image to take home from this Sunday. The fact that this gift from God is still occurring regularly all over the world is mind-boggling. When a person is baptized, the Holy Spirit comes into that person and takes possession of their soul and being. A special grace is given to that person by God himself. The grace given to us in our baptism is the strength and courage to live a good Christian life. This does not mean that we don’t have to work at it, but it does mean that if we try to live good lives, God has already given us the grace we need to be successful in this endeavor.
Perhaps this is a good day for each of us to look at our lives and see how we have been doing since our own Baptism. Are we living the way Christ wants us to? Are we caring for the poor and the downtrodden among us? Is there something more we need to do? Are we praying daily and often?
It’s pretty challenging, isn’t it? It sure is. If we are baptized, we already have the grace to do what we need to do. The question is: are we ready to do it?
Peace and All Good!