The Baptism of Jesus

Sunday Gospel Reflection
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 | Jan. 9, 2022

The Baptism of Jesus
Josie Gonzalez

“John said, ‘I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’…and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came down from heaven, ‘You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.'” – Luke 3:16,22

‘Happy New Year’ ba ang pagbukas ng taong 2022 amid fear and anxiety over the Omicron variant of COVID-19 that is highly contagious and spreading like wildfire? Ano ba ang natutunan natin sa mga lockdown at ‘stay-at-home’ health protocols, hindi lamang dito sa Pilipinas kung hindi, sa buong mundo? O meron ba tayong natutunan? Naging parte ba tayo sa pagkalat ng virus lalung-lalo na nitong nakalipas na kapaskuhan?

Sa isang mensahe ni Pope Francis na magdasal tayo to end the pandemic, he said that “perhaps this virus is God’s way of purifying and cleansing our souls” para manumbalik tayo sa Kanya. The Pope’s dissertation is a lot of food for thought – to us who are proud and powerful, be humble; to us who think there is no heaven, no purgatory, no hell, repent and seek forgiveness; to us who think everything we have and own is only by our own efforts, be sorry and pray instead for His guidance and wisdom.

We are nothing. The Almighty God is everything. Pagnilayan natin ito.

We all look forward to Christmastime—old and young alike. And despite this pandemic, we got lost in the fanfare and glitters, in getting together with family and friends, in shopping and making our homes “Christmassy” for the occasion.

But we forget that Christmas is rejoicing for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the begotten Son of the Almighty Father—a solemn celebration to welcome our Redeemer. Did we forget the true meaning of Christmas? Was ours a spiritual celebration or were we caught up in the hustle and bustle of things? Let’s reflect on this.

The Gospel this Sunday is about the baptism of Jesus, signifying the end of the Christmas season.
When people wondered whether John the Baptist was perhaps the Messiah, he said to all of them, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am.” This was John’s way of expressing his humility, acknowledging ‘someone’ greater than he. That’s why people were drawn to him, and they believed him. Repeatedly, he would remind us that the ‘greater one’ is coming.

Jesus’ baptism is a manifestation of Christ as both divine and human to fulfill the Father’s universal plan to save mankind. This is God’s ultimate expression of His love for us.

I was brainstorming with a priest from the Disciples of Hope, and he said this: The Blessed Trinity was revealed during Jesus’ baptism—the voice of the Father, the Son being baptized by John, and the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove. The ministry or work of John the Baptist points to Jesus; though sinless and needs no repentance, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism of repentance at the beginning of his mission; the present baptism that we have in the Church is a Sacrament. The one by John is a baptism of repentance (external manifestation that the person is changing his ways for the better).
Have we received the sacrament of Baptism? Tayo ba ay nabinyagan na bilang Katoliko? It is never too late.

Real happiness is eternal. It is a joy that emanates from God.

I remember one homily given in a mass I heard online, a story about a happy man in a wheelchair with a missing leg. An able man sees the disabled, looks at his own legs and feet and craves for a bicycle, a second wants a motorcycle, a third wants a secondhand car first then a sports car, a fifth wants a jet but, looking down from the sky, he realizes he has everything but the joy the man in the wheelchair exudes. Saan tayo?

Hindi madaling sumunod sa Panginoon at katulad ni Hesukristong nadapa ng tatlong beses patungo sa Kalbaryo, madadapa tayo at gagapang para makilala Siya at matamasa ang buhay na walang hanggan.

Katulad ng karamihan sa atin, ako rin ay nadadapa at gumagapang patungo sa Panginoon. Pero ang mahalaga ay huwag tayong bumitiw sa Kanya.

A blessed Sunday to everyone as we start the new year!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on print

Read more!