It is 13th January 2019. We celebrate the feast day of the Baptism of the Lord. The readings are from Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; the second reading is from Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7; and the Gospel is from Luke 3:15-16, 21-22. Today we celebrate the feast of the baptism of Jesus. The feast of the Baptism of our Lord presents us with the Third Epiphany; the first being the Nativity of our Lord and the second, the feast of the Magi. It is a good day to reflect on our own baptism and its significance for us. We, who are baptised called by a new name and become the beloved child of God. It is indeed a new birth spiritually. The Baptism is the soul-changing experience of an individual’s life but in most believers, either it is forgotten conveniently, or cannot be recalled or undermined the unique impact of the Spirit of God in our lives. God includes us in God’s family by the Sacrament of the Baptism. God recognises us as a new person with the glorious new beginning in one’s spiritual journey. The Church welcomes and incorporates into the Body of Christ. The Baptised become the servant of Christ, co-worker in building, renovating, and maintaining the kingdom of God on earth. The Sacrament of Baptism opens all the spiritual blessings that a believer could be endowed with. Though it is the initial sacrament, yet it is the most significant and foundational sacrament of all other Sacraments. The Spirit of God and Jesus begin to live in the baptised person until the rest of the life until one is not interrupted by a grave sin. We are empowered and emboldened by the Holy Spirit who takes possession of our souls and being by the Sacrament of Baptism and a complete cleansing of all personal sins including the Original sin. (CCC 1262-74). The Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for salvation for all to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and all who ask for this Sacrament from the Church. (CCC.1257). The Catechism teaches us in Nos.1213-1216, “To baptise means to ‘immerse’ in water. The one who is baptised is immersed into the death of Christ and rises with him as ‘new creature’ (2 Cor.5:17). This sacrament is also called the ‘bath of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.’ (Titus 3:5); and it is called ‘enlightenment’ because the baptised becomes ‘a person of light’ (Eph.5:8).” We obtain the privilege to participate in the priesthood of Christ and provides the basis for communion with all the faithful. A baptised person belongs forever to Christ and marked with the indelible seal of Christ. (CCC. 1279). We need to encourage having the Christian name for the one to be baptised. Christian name is preferably the name of a saint to emulate the sanctity of the saint and to have intercession of the saint before God for the person baptised. (CCC 2156.,59,67). In our first reading from the prophet Isaiah, we reflect the power of baptism of the Lord, the Messiah. God offers this privilege to be the servant for all and to work for justice and peace of God. “I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice, as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations.” (Is.42:7). The responsorial Psalm praises, “The Lord will bless his people with peace.” (Ps.29:11). St. Paul teaches us that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power and he began His ministry for the welfare of all people who were oppressed and abused by the devil. The Gospel endorses the baptism of the Lord. Jesus was sanctified, witnessed and applauded by the Father by sending the Holy Spirit upon Him as John the Baptist baptised Jesus in the river Jordan. “The Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with Him, be reborn of water and the Sprit so as to become the Father’s beloved son in the Son and ‘walk in newness of life.’ (CCC.537). May the Lord Jesus continue to bless us all to be rooted in Him with the power of the Holy Spirit to be His light, and witnesses to the Gospel. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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