Why was Jesus baptized? He had no sin, no need for repentance which John the Baptist was offering. Even John questioned Jesus being baptized by him. It seemed backwards to him. But it was necessary to reverse the sin of Adam and the course of history. The Baptism of Jesus serves as the bridge between his entrance to the world (Epiphany) and his public ministry. Jesus entered the waters of the Jordan and went into the depths of sin taking all the burdens and sins of mankind upon His back, and stepping into the place of all sinners. “He emptied himself, took the form of a slave, and was born in the likeness of man. He humbled himself, obedient even to the point of death…and God highly exalted Him.” While he was without sin, he joined in humanity and attached the sins of all man to himself that he might then rise up from the water, sanctifying them into waters of life, offering to each of us the salvation which had been lost. And God said, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased!” We are to be baptized and drink from the waters, and then go out and give life to others, thereby becoming holy and saintly.
As Vincentians, we are called to connect ourselves to the needs, the sufferings and the pains of those whom God places before us. We are called to join in total humility and obedience to God’s will and Divine Providence. We are called to be life giving to others that they too may become sharers in the heavenly feast. Do I come before the Lord in total humility and obedience? Do I take on the pain and suffering of those whom I serve, joining myself to them and walking with them?
Father, give me the grace to drink from the waters of baptism, that I may have the humility and courage to go out, serving those you call me to. Help me to live in obedience always seeking your will. With your help, allow me to be the person you created me to be as you marked me and claimed me at my baptism. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen