The Baptism of the Lord

Before beginning his public ministry, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John, his relative.

This baptism by John had been a baptism of repentance but Jesus had no sins to repent of. Not needing to be baptized for Himself, He humbled Himself and was baptized out of love for us and obedience to God the Father.

The water of Jesus’ Baptism did not cleanse Him. Instead He cleansed the water so that we could be baptized in this water after Him so that our sin could be removed.

All three Persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are present at this event, emphasizing its significance in the life of Jesus Christ.

Connecting the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on the Sunday after the Feast of the Epiphany.

John the Baptist hesitated to Baptize Jesus: 

Jesus did not need to be Baptized:

We celebrate today the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus: that Child, Son of the Virgin, Whom we contemplated in the mystery of his Birth. We behold Him today as an adult immersing Himself in the waters of the River Jordan and thereby sanctifying all water and the whole world, as the Eastern Tradition stresses.

Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, January 13, 2013

His Baptism is a significant event in Jesus being with us:

Jesus was Baptized for us:

And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him; and lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3: 16-17

The story of Jesus’ Baptism has echoes of the Old Testament:

Jesus’ Baptism foreshadows his death on the Cross:

Jesus establishes a pattern for his followers to copy:

Jesus’ public life begins with his Baptism by John in the Jordan. John preaches “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”. A crowd of sinners – tax collectors and soldiers, Pharisees and Sadducees, and prostitutes- come to be baptized by him. “Then Jesus appears.” The Baptist hesitates, but Jesus insists and receives Baptism. Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from Heaven proclaims, “This is my beloved Son.” This is the manifestation (“Epiphany”) of Jesus as Messiah of Israel and Son of God.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 535

The Baptism of the Lord is a precious mystery of the Church:

The place of Jesus’ Baptism is a symbol of conversion still today:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Place your trust in Him:

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