Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Baptism of the Lord. This feast, which marks the end of the liturgical season of Christmas, is a grand reminder of the love that God has for each of us.
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus’ baptism demonstrates to us the love that God has for his sons and daughters. With our baptism we are claimed for God—when we renew our baptismal promises we pray, “God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, gives us the gift of new life through the waters of Baptism and the Holy Spirit.”
“As Catholics, we’re overwhelmed with the love of God. In Matthew 3:16-17, the words Jesus hears from God the Father is, ‘You are my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.’ And if you look at Matthew 1 up to that point, Jesus doesn’t really do much, right? He doesn’t do any miracles, he doesn’t raise the dead, he doesn’t forgive any sins. And yet, what is God’s message to him? It’s that you are my beloved,” said Allan Wright, Catholic author, speaker, and Catholic school principal.
At baptisms today, explains Wright, “the priest parades the child around the church … before the child exhibits anything! And that’s the message of baptism that you are loved. And how empowering is that message for us today.”
“It’s a beautiful sign that we’re loved for who we are and not necessarily for what we do. We do want to do great things and acts of mercy, but all of that is in response to the great love of God,” said Wright. He mused that he’s written books and gotten degrees, but his greatest accomplishment is documented not on a diploma, but on his baptismal certificate.
When it comes to the anniversary of your baptism, celebrate! It’s the most important day of your life, a day that marks you as a Christian, a son or daughter of God, and a member of His Church.
Tune in to Morning Air® weekdays at 6-9am ET / 3-6am PT only on Relevant Radio®.