Luke 3: 15–16 21–22

The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, “Could this John be the Messiah?”

But John intervened: “I’m baptising you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house – make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”

There was a lot more of this – words that gave strength to the people, words that put heart in them. The Message! But Herod, the ruler, stung by John’s rebuke in the matter of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, capped his long string of evil deeds with this outrage: He put John in jail.

After all the people were baptised, Jesus was baptised. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

Gospel Reflection

Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life.  It is the gateway to life in the Spirit.  Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God.  We become members of Christ’s Body, the Church.  Thus, as members of Christ’s Body, we are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in Church’s mission. “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”

Most likely many of us were baptised as infants.  Thus we likely do not have a memory of receiving this sacrament.  Yet Baptism is the keystone for the other sacraments.  Today sit quietly for five to ten minutes and reflect on the following questions:   What gifts have I received from the Sacrament of Baptism?  Am I grateful for this sacrament?  Do I truly appreciate the Sacraments of the Catholic Church or do I take them for granted?

If you choose to do this, you may find a new appreciation for the gift of your baptism, and it may strengthen your appreciation for your parents, your faith, and for the love God has for you.  You are a child of God.  What more do you need or want?