Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord

by Fr. D. Mazibuko OSM

Click here for Sunday’s readings

1st Reading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7s
2nd Reading: Acts 10:34-38
Gospel: Matthew 3: 13-17

Once again this Sunday Mother Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. As a church, we are once again given an opportunity to remember and celebrate a significant and defining moment in the life of the Lord. Just like it was a significant moment for Jesus, so it is for us today. This Feast is not just for Jesus alone, but it is our Feast too. In that spirit, today, we too remember, reflect and celebrate our own individual Baptisms.

Baptism is an important day and moment because it is on this day that we choose to live our lives according to values of the gospel. Baptism is a moment of re-birth when one’s original innocence is restored though the removal of Original Sin.
The readings for this Sunday highlight the following:

a) Jesus is the Beloved Son
b) It follows then through Baptism, we also become God’s beloved sons and daughters
c) John the Baptist preached a Baptism of repentance.
d) In fact we get baptised we renounce sin and choose gospel values.
e) The Baptism of the Lord revels Jesus as the ‘Beloved’ son and we notice the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.
f) The Holy Spirit does not only descend on Jesus, but the Spirit remains with him.
g) This marks the beginning of His mission in Galilee which is to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
h) Jesus’ ministry is sustained by the Holy Spirit. Indeed the Apostolic ministry of the Church is sustained by the Holy Spirit.

In light of the above, what does this Feast mean for you and me? Does it really have any concrete significance? And how can I translate this significance in my spirituality? Our Mission is rooted in our baptism, and as a Diocese that celebrates an Extra Ordinary Year of Mission, I believe this Feast gives an opportunity as a Diocese to renew our commitment to carry out Christ’s Mission. As we continue with the celebration, we recommit to the prophetic, priestly and kingship Mission of Christ.