The Baptism of the Lord – 09 Jan
Gospel Reading – Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him.And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel gives us a stunning account of Jesus’ baptism. Jesus came to John the Baptism, seeking a baptism of repentance All four Gospels attest to it, and if there had been any justification for dropping it out they would have. So there it is, and it’s a major problem. Jesus seems to be a sinner—but if this is true, all of Christian theology is undermined.
The difficulty is reflected in the Baptist’s confusion: “I should be baptized by you; and yet you come to me.” When John objects, Jesus says, “Give in for now. We must do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Well, what does that mean? Fulfilling righteousness, in the old dispensation, would have meant something like “doing what God wants, or getting right with God.” But this was our business.
Now we see that “all righteousness” has to do with God’s setting things right with us and for us, in all humility. God bending down under our hand and submitting to us. If that doesn’t take your breath away you’re not paying attention.