The Baptism of the Lord

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 42:1–4, 6–7; Psalm 29:1–2, 3–4, 3, 9–10 (11b); Acts 10:34–38; Matthew 3:13–17. The baptism John performed was a sign of the new era to come, but John himself could not bring about that new era. That power belonged to God’s Son. Recognizing this, John does not want to baptize the one who is so much greater than he, but Jesus insists. Despite the power he has, Jesus acts humbly. He enters into solidarity with the sinners he has come to save.

By submitting to John’s baptism, Jesus “fulfills all righteousness”—that is, he carries out God’s plan of salvation, a plan foretold in passages such as in our First Reading. God speaks through Isaiah to declare that he will grasp the hand of his servant, whom he has chosen for a special purpose.

The descent of God’s Spirit upon Jesus and the words pronounced by God at Jesus’ baptism reveal that Jesus is God’s chosen one.

At our Baptism, we were incorporated into Christ’s Body, empowered by God’s Spirit. God calls us to worship, to proclaim the Gospel, and to work alongside his Son until he brings about the fullness of his kingdom.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Edrianne Ezell. Scripture quotations are from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, CCD. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago on February 27, 2019.