Today, the Church concludes the Christmas season by celebrating the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus, as a young man, left his family home and appeared in public for the first time, when he was baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Jesus’ baptism was an important moment for him. He saw the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, and he heard the voice of God the Father telling him, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’ These words of the Father strengthened Jesus to begin his public ministry. After a time of trial in the wilderness, he would set out, preaching and teaching, healing the sick and forgiving sins.
For each one of us, our baptism was the beginning of our life as a Christian; a new birth. Whether we were baptised as a baby or as an adult, that was the day when we became a member of the family of Jesus’ disciples, the Church. On that day, we too, like Jesus, were given a promise of God’s love and favour, and we too were filled with the Holy Spirit, to strengthen us for the journey of life that lay before us.
In today’s Second Reading, St John reminds us of the two commandments that God gave us through Jesus; to love God, and to love God’s children, our fellow men and women. Every day, we have to choose whether we will be true to the promises of our baptism by showing love to others. Every day, we should remember that we are God’s beloved children, and that our Father’s favour rests on us