by Sister Mary Kabat
When an account is included in more than one Gospel it is viewed with greater significance. The Baptism of Jesus -- the visible appearance of the Spirit and the voice from heaven saying, “You are my beloved Son, on you my favor rests” -- are included in all four Gospels. This moment experienced by Jesus, John the Baptist and unknown others was never to be forgotten. It changed life forever -- for Jesus, for John, for all who knew Jesus and would come to know him, for all believers then and now, for you and me. Jesus’ public life, his mission to be “a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and those who live in darkness” (Isaiah 42:6-7) was beginning.
Jesus’ baptism and our baptism occurred at a moment in time; however, our baptism is ongoing. Baptism is a relationship with God and our faith companions in family, parish and the broader Church. Baptism is a relationship sustained and deepened, nurtured and strengthened by prayer and action throughout our earthly life and brought to fullness one day with God. Baptism is a promise lived in good times and in challenging times as was the baptism of Jesus.
As we celebrate Jesus’ baptism, let us renew our own promises, our prayer life, our commitment to share in Jesus’ proclamation of the Father’s love and mercy in our words and actions.
Thank you, Sister, for the message to renew my baptismal promises.
Thank you for a profound reflection on the power of God's gift in the transformative relationship that begins in our baptism.