It is 9th January 2017. We celebrate the feast day of the Baptism of the Lord. The readings are from Is.42:1-4,6-7; the second reading is from Act.10:34-38 and the Gospel from Mt. 3:13-17. The first reading assures God is delighted in each one of us and desires us to be the light of the nations. “I am the Lord, I have called you for the victory of justice, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the prisons, those who live in darkness.” (Is.42:6-7). The church teaches us about the baptism of our Lord in the Catechism Nos. 1223-1225. Jesus emptied himself through the baptism of John and the through His passion, He opened the fountain of Baptism to all people. Jesus showed us the example and commanded us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt.28:19-20). We are all born of the water and the Spirit through the blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Jesus. St. Ambrose confesses openly, “See where you are baptized, see where Baptism comes from, if not from the cross of Christ, from his death. There is the whole mystery: he died for you. In Him you are redeemed, in him you are saved.” In the second reading present the special anointment of God on Jesus to do good to all people. The responsorial Psalm sings, “The Lord will bless his people with peace.” (Ps.29:11). St. Paul reaffirms saying, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Rom.6:3). We believe that baptism is the sacrament of the faith. It is indeed the rebirth in Christ. The Council of Florence taught us all, “By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.” We become a new creation and incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ. We are configured to Christ. We read in Catechism No. 1272: “Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of one’s belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark.” The Gospel shows us how God the Father was approving and blessing God’s only Son right after the baptism. Before Jesus began His ministry, He got baptized. And again we are reminded CCC 536: “At His baptism ‘the heavens were opened’ – the heavens that Adam’s sin had closed – and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.” May you have a good day.

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