Today the church celebrates the Baptism of the Lord. At this event we celebrate a significant moment, Jesus’ baptism is an epiphany story. Jesus transitions from his previous life where he would have been living at home with his parents Mary and Joseph into his new life — he is revealed as the Son of God. We don’t have any information in the New Testament about what Jesus’s life was like as a child and young man. We can only assume he would have been educated with his friends and helped his father Joseph with his work. Then we have this vivid scene and Jesus makes his entrance.
In the heat of the day, by the river Jordan, there could have been hundreds of people, hundreds of sinners seeking a baptism of repentance, seeking a change of heart. As they were baptised they confessed their sins. You can imagine yourself at the top of a hill looking down as you prepare to join them. There in the midst is Jesus who has come from Galilee to be baptised by John. He would have been just one more person, shoulder to shoulder with all the sinners standing in that muddy water. Jesus would have seemed unremarkable, he would have looked no different, easily mistaken for just another humble sinner, except of course he wasn’t like us, not only was he fully human, he was fully divine.
This theme of repentance and confession in today’s gospel is something that the children in our First Holy Communion group have been learning about this week. They have been learning that in the Sacrament of Penance, when we confess to a priest the sins we have done we are forgiven by the power of Jesus Christ and grace is restored in our soul. Please keep them all in your prayers as they prepare for their first confession at the end of January.
yours in Christ,