When Jesus comes up from the waters of the Jordan River the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends upon our Lord. The voice of God proclaims, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” In Christian baptism we, too, are claimed as sons and daughters of God. But, unlike John’s baptism, our baptism is not merely symbolic. We truly receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are now connected to Jesus. The baptismal waters symbolize both death and life. We are joined to Jesus’ death on the cross and are reborn as brand new creatures – children of God! We receive the divine inheritance of eternal life as well as the Holy Spirit. With these gifts we also receive new responsibilities.
Jesus’ baptism marked the beginning of his ministry and so it is for us. God has a special plan or vocation for each one of his children. We are of course, too young to grasp this as newly baptized infants but as we age and grow in spiritual maturity, and especially as we prepare for Confirmation, we ask the Lord to reveal his plan to us. This often takes much time, prayer and faith to realize, but with the gift of the Holy Spirit that we have received in Baptism we are well equipped to serve the Lord.
Challenge for the week
Everyone enjoys a birthday party. On our birthday we remember that we were born and joined our earthly family. On our baptism day we joined our heavenly family, the family of God. Surely, this is an even more important cause for celebration?! Ask your parents about your Baptism day. Record the date on your calendar and remember to thank God each year for your divine inheritance.
“You are my Son, the Beloved;
with you I am well pleased.”