Weekly Reflections for January 15, 2023
“Baptism of the Lord”
As a teenager, I began to question the things I was taught about my faith – what do you mean it wasn’t an apple – how an entire world could come from just two people. One of the most pressing questions I had was – If Jesus was born to a Virgin who was conceived without sin and Jesus who was God was also born without sin, why would He ever need to be baptized? Some things just did not make sense to this teenager.
It was not until I grew older and wiser in life and in my spirituality that I was able to find my answers. St. John explains this in the first chapter of his gospel. John the Baptist knows that he is not the One who is to come. He understands his mission from the beginning – prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah by baptizing them with water for the forgiveness of their sins. He does not know who the Christ is but is told: ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” John the Baptist becomes the instrument through which we are introduced to Jesus – our Messiah. There is no more guessing.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught by example. He is showing us that we also need to be baptized with water and the Holy Spirit. To become His follower, we need to be cleansed of our sins. It takes the Holy Spirit to wash away the original sin. We needed for Jesus to be baptized to save us so we may live life eternal with Him.
Sometimes it takes a while to figure out this mortal life. But then again nothing good comes easy. We need understand what our faith means to us and to pursue our life’s mission. One day the Lord will ask: what have you done with the talents I gave you? How will we answer?