Message – 1st Epiphany – The Baptism of Our Lord – January 9, 2022

Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit, Cleansed by the blood of Christ our king:

Heirs of salvation, trusting His promise, Faithfully now God’s praise we sing.

Today, the First Sunday after the Epiphany is celebrated as the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord – the feast day which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.  The following reflection on the Feast Day was written by Terry Modica found on the Catholic Digital Resources website.

Today’s readings are full of expectation.  What are you waiting for?  How do you need God to come and rescue you from injustices, or deliver you from evil, or comfort you as you wait for loved ones to turn their hearts back to God?  What guidance have you been seeking while feeling confused and uncertain?

Do you feel Christ’s gift of peace within you as you wait expectantly?  Or do you feel impatient?

In the Gospel, we see John the Baptizer’s congregation filled with expectancy because they hoped that he was their finally-arrived Messiah.  Yearning for God to intervene against injustices, foreign oppression, and sin, they latched onto the fiery enthusiasm of John and his baptism of repentance.

God, however, had something much better in mind, more complete.  The real Messiah would baptize with the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit.  Whereas John could only call people to repentance, the real Messiah would empower them to grow in holiness by giving them his own Spirit of holiness.

When Jesus submitted himself to John’s baptism, it was not because he needed to repent; he was sinless.  He was uniting himself to our need for repentance, thus starting his ministry of delivering us from evil and eventually take our sins to the cross.

In baptism, we are immersed into the holiness of Jesus as well as his ministry, his priesthood, his prophetic sharing of the Good News, his servant leadership, and yes, his sufferings for the benefit of others.  The Holy Spirit empowers us to do as Jesus did, and the Father says, “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased!”

What do you expect? What do you think should happen in your daily life because of your baptism?  Expectation is a good attitude – unless it’s based on impatience, which usually leads to disappointment.  Expectation that’s based on the goodness of God and what he wants for us is the attitude that brings us joy, greater faith, and even miracles.

In the waters of baptism we were made God’s children
and called to serve one another as we have been served by Christ.
Therefore let us pray for one another and for all people
who will not or cannot pray for themselves.