Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Gospel recounts how Jesus was baptised by his cousin, John the Baptist at the Jordan river.
We often ask why does Jesus even need to be baptised?
The homilist reminds us that John similarly asked Jesus why it shouldn’t be the other way around since Jesus is the son of God. But Jesus answered “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.”
Jesus truly came down to us to be with humanity and to be human. Thus he wanted also to be baptised like one of us. Not that he had any sin to be redeemed. But as he plunged into the waters, he would redeem all our sins since he represented humanity.
As the season of advent comes to a close and we go back to ordinary time in the calendar, we are also reminded of how Jesus lived an ordinary life before his ministry began. He lived with his family, was trained to be a carpenter, and thus was joined to our humanity and ordinariness of our lives.
His baptism signifies the beginning of his public ministry where he takes over from John and John famously declares “He must increase whilst I must decrease”.
So to, we who are baptised – are called to be reminded of our baptismal vows and to follow Jesus for whom God the Father says “This is my beloved Son,* with whom I am well pleased.”