Baptism of the Lord
The narration of Jesus submitting to John’s baptism is a story that fleshes out what the hymn from Philippians teaches through its lyrics, that Christ, “though he was in the form of God did not regard equality with God something to be grasped” (Philippians 2:6).
Jesus’ baptism reinforces the message of the Christmas narratives. Jesus’ baptism tells us that God’s chosen way of being with us is not as an awesome ruler of the universe, but as one who chooses solidarity with us in all our weakness. Jesus’ baptism depicts Emmanuel as one of us.
What does this say to us? The scandal of Christianity is God’s limitless solidarity with us. Emmanuel is “god with us” in every circumstance: in hope and love, in weakness and sin, disgrace and desperation. The way to union with this God necessarily passes through practicing the kind of presence Jesus showed us.
If we wish to know God, we can only do so through solidarity, through sharing one another’s need and weakness so profoundly that we can also genuinely share one another’s joys. Then we will know God because God will be acting in and through us.
Jesus accepted baptism in union with us. Our baptism is a call and invitation to union with God and all of God’s own. Jesus’ baptism was a sign of his communion with us. Ours calls us into communion with God and one another.
The Southern Cross website – remember to get your copy after Mass!