begin with baptism
“...beginning in Galilee with the baptism...” —Acts 10:37
Jesus’ Baptism is narrated in all four Gospels, indicating how important it is (Mt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-22; Jn 1:29-34). Jesus voluntarily submitted Himself to St. John’s baptism of repentance, even though He had no need to repent of any sin. He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness (Mt 3:15). This is why Jesus came to earth. Jesus submitted to Baptism for each one of us. His Baptism is a manifestation of His self-emptying (see Phil 2:7). Jesus’ entire ministry is one of giving Himself completely, to the last breath and the last drop of His blood. In this way, Jesus released humanity from its bondage to sin.
“After His resurrection, Christ gives this mission to His apostles: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them...teaching them...’ ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1223). In Baptism we are made righteous again, through the blood of Christ.
Jesus’ Baptism inaugurated His public ministry. At the Jordan, Jesus was already anticipating His own death. Out of love, Jesus consented to the baptism of His own death (see Lk 12:50). The Father was well-pleased by His Son’s obedience (Mt 3:17).
By His humble submission to Baptism (Mk 1:9), Jesus calls each of us to receive and live our Baptism. Renew your Baptism as His disciple today. Live your baptismal mission of prayer, dying to self, love, and service in risen power.
Prayer: Father, give me a much greater awareness of “the immense, extraordinary richness and responsibility” of my Baptism (Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful People, Pope St. John Paul II, 10, 61).
Promise: “I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice.”—Is 42:6
Praise: “He was born and was baptized so that by His submission He might purify the water” (Letter to the Ephesians, St. Ignatius of Antioch, 110 AD).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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