The Baptism of Our Lord | iPray with the Gospel
Jesus came to John, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptised, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
“The Lord was Baptized,” explains St. Ambrose of Milan, “not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters might have the power of Baptism”. During His Ascension, He told His disciples to go and baptise all people and they did exactly that.
Saints have greatly valued this Sacrament. St Vincent Ferrer always celebrated the anniversary of his baptism and often went to kiss the baptismal font in the church of St Stephen in Valencia. After many years of absence, St Francis Solano went back to his hometown. Before doing anything else he knelt and rested his forehead on the font of the church where he was baptised and sang the Creed. When St Josemaría found out that they were discarding the font where he was baptised, he arranged for it to be brought to his chapel and kissed it every time he passed by it. Do you know the date of your baptism?
A young woman came to see the parish priest to discuss what was needed for her conversion to the Catholic Church. She explained that she had been reading the Gospel, fell in love with Jesus, and wanted to be a Catholic. The priest was surprised that no one had instructed her or talked to her about our faith. “No one has taught you anything about the faith?” asked the astonished priest. “That’s strange! You must have had a bit of guidance from someone.” The girl explained: “No one, father. Nobody, since I was baptised as a baby…” “But you were baptised?!…” the priest interrupted her, and with a smile he added: “I rest my case!” Of course Someone had been helping her. Baptism made her a temple of the Holy Spirit. He had been helping her for many years…from inside! Mary, my Mother, may I never forget to give thanks to God for my Baptism and to truly value it as the saints did.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).