Fr Frank writes:
My dear friends,
At first glance, the Baptism of the Lord might seem an odd feast.
Since the Catholic Church teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for the remission of sins, particularly Original Sin, why was Christ baptised? After all, he was born without Original Sin, and he lived his entire life without sinning. Therefore, he did not need the sacrament as we do.
Many of the Fathers of the Church, as well as the medieval Scholastics, saw Christ’s Baptism as the institution of the sacrament. Our baptism, therefore, arises from his baptism, and is a sacramental blessing resulting from his condescending to be baptised by John. Never underestimate the significance of baptism. I heard the story once of an academic who, instead of lining the walls of his office with his certificates, diplomas and degrees (as is usual), had hung just one framed certificate – his baptismal certificate. Perhaps you agree with him that your baptism is the single most important thing that has happened in your life.
Additionally, Jesus’s baptism, the descent of the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) and the voice of God the Father announcing that this was his Son, in whom he was well pleased, marks the beginning of Christ’s public ministry. Important teaching which will occupy our Gospel readings for many weeks to come.
May the God of glory be your glory today and forever.
Advice to Preachers:
If after ten minutes you don’t strike oil – THEN STOP BORING!