Baptism of the Lord

Baptismal Font

Study:  When have I experienced a life-changing moment?  How has this helped me to become a better person?

Pray:  Ask God for guidance to face new challenges with courage and strength.

Serve:  How can I help someone in the midst of great change?  How can I support them?

Baptism of the Lord Readings

There are moments in life which transform us forever.  During these times we experience profound and lasting change, and from these moments we find that we are a different person with new insights and awareness.

Sometimes this process of change can take a protracted period of time – weeks or even months may pass while we are in a period of transition and renewal.  Sometimes, however, the transformation takes a single moment; an event or encounter can completely alter the course of our lives.

The baptism of Jesus was just such a life changing experience.  This event is the first step in the adult life of Christ.  Here is a simplified review:

* Jesus (as an adult) is baptized by John
– the Father and Holy Spirit are present!
* Jesus goes immediately to the desert
– he spends 40 days in solitude
* Jesus is tempted by Satan
– he confronts 3 tests of faith
* Jesus begins his ministry
– he preaches, heals, and picks disciples

John’s baptism initiates a series of events that lead to the transformation of the adult Jesus.  Outside of the birth narratives in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, nothing is really known about the Lord until this moment.  Indeed, it is from this point on that Jesus must confront the revelation of his mission on earth.

Some scholars argue that after his baptism Jesus became fully aware of his ministry and ultimate sacrifice on the Cross.  It was at this point that he began to understand the fullness of his Father’s plan.  This is why he went to the wilderness immediately after his baptism – he needed to think things out!  This is why the devil came to him there – in hope that Jesus could be tempted NOT to fulfill his mission.

It was his baptism – a public event – that allowed the Lord (and other people as well) to see the plan of salvation.  In a single moment history changed as Jesus begins his earthly ministry.

Our own transformations can be equally vivid.  May we see in the Lord’s baptism a sign that we too can change, growing closer to God, aware of how our lives can bring life and hope to others.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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