The Gospel on Sunday, the last Sunday of Christmas and the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, offers an account of the Baptism of Jesus.
A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Now when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’
The Baptist sets us good example. The Christ makes of himself our brother, he embraces us in love and calls us to newness of life. And yet we are far from his equal, and we are not fit to undo the strap of his sandals, not worthy to have him under our roof…
And yet he calls us, and cherishes us.
As we contemplate the Beloved, only-Begotten, let us also pause and know afresh God’s love for us.
Christ baptised. Catholic church in St Austell. (c) 2006, Allen Morris.