The Gospel of this Sunday is Luke 3:15–16, 21–22
1. The difference between John’s baptism and ours
People coming to the Jordan River are often disappointed. The magnificent Jordan known from the Holy Scriptures turns out to be a small river with opaque brown-green water. It is not the waters of the Jordan that have power, but Jesus.
John’s baptism was a ritual washing that symbolized purification from sins. Only the baptism that Jesus brought is the foretold baptism that takes away all our sins and makes us children of God.
Jesus also had to be baptized.
A sinless God comes to John for baptism. He does not come to confess any sins but to give what John cannot give. People came to the Jordan because they wanted to regain the dignity of being God’s children. Thanks to Jesus, this became possible. God has adopted us in the sacrament of Baptism. In Baptism, the sinner becomes a child of God.
You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.
God looks at us as He looked at Jesus. At our Baptism, we hear that we are God’s beloved children. Thanks to Jesus, we can call God our Abba, the best Father. We can become like Jesus and, like him, resist the attacks of the demon in the wilderness. Baptism gives us that power, because the Holy Spirit also descends upon us and dwells in us. In Baptism, heaven opens up for us.
Do you know the date of your baptism? Pope Francis often asks this because on that day our lives were changed; God adopted us.
If you do not know the date, you can look it up in the Register Book of Baptisms in the parish where you were baptized.