Our lives are to grow in what we receive at the altar -- the body of Christ
by Sister Laura Zelten
Sunday’s Gospel will recount Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. His baptism is different from ours. It does not free him from sin since he is without sin. Rather, Jesus is baptized by John in order to establish baptism as the way in which we come to share in Jesus’ holiness.
Jesus’ baptism also marks the beginning of his public ministry. We share in this ministry by virtue of our own baptism. To help us understand what a servant of God looks like, we hear in the First Reading from the prophet Isaiah: “My servant … will bring forth justice to the nations”.
In the second reading, St. Paul describes Jesus as the one through whom God proclaims peace. Working for a more just and peaceful world is part of what it means to share in the ministry of Jesus, who promises to send us his Spirit so that we may be strengthened for His mission on earth.
Finally, in the Gospel, when Jesus comes out of the water, Matthew describes the familiar scene: the sky opens up, Jesus sees the Holy Spirit descend upon him like a dove, and a voice from heaven claims Jesus as “my own dear Son with whom I am well pleased.” That’s the story.
Could it be that THAT is what God is thinking of us when we are baptized?
Thank you, Sr. Laura. This is truly comforting!