In today’s Gospel, which describes the Baptism of Jesus, we might well ask ourselves, “Why did Jesus need to be baptised?” Most of those coming to John the Baptist were repentant sinners, and John himself says he is not worthy to undo the sandals of “the one who is to come.” Despite his dignity and rank as Son of God–as the Messiah–Jesus never required any external signs of privilege. But today something different is happening. St Luke tells us that Jesus was at prayer when his Baptism took place. At all the significant moments of Jesus’ public life, Luke tells us that Jesus was praying. It was at this moment that the Spirit of God, in the form of a dove, comes down on Jesus, and the Father says, “You are my Son, the Beloved. My favour rests on you.” This is clearly a form of missioning for Jesus. Through his Baptism, Jesus is being officially commissioned to begin his public work of teaching, healing, and liberating enslaved souls, right up to the moment of his Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Today is an opportunity for us to reflect on our own baptism–the beginning of a process of growing into the Body of Christ, as its members. Our baptism is a never-ending call to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. So today we renew our faith in Jesus, and our commitment to follow him, to CONTINUE HIS WORK–FOR WITHOUT OUR CO-OPERATION MUCH OF GOD’S WORK WILL NEVER BE REALISED.