The Baptism of the Lord


Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Matthew 3:13-17


Today’s Feast is the grand yet humble curtain raiser for The Greatest Show on Earth! Or rather, the greatest ‘love story’ ever told!

After about 30 years of hidden life, we see Jesus coming forth as the Servant of the Father. Gravitating towards John the Baptiser, receiving the new birth, which opens a gateway for Jesus to gather all of us, the love story begins.

Within the literary form of the Father’s Voice and the Spirit hovering over Jesus, and rising from the primaeval waters, a new creation is manifested. This echoes from the Book of Genesis, where God’s Spirit hovered over the waters, and ‘life’ appeared. Here we have the ‘new life’ par excellence in Jesus, the incarnate Word.

The extraordinary Mission statement for Jesus, the Christ, is formulated so powerfully in the First Reading from Isaiah….

Today’s Feast is evergreen! It is a thrilling reminder to us that we are continually called to a Baptism of Repentance, meaning inner conversion, and manifested in our attitudes, outlook, and responsibility towards each other in Christ.

Today’s Feast is a solid invitation from God to us, as invited builders of the Kingdom…to assist in bringing about the New Heavens and the New Earth, as we hear in the Book of Revelation. This intention we pray for in The Lord’s Prayer,’ thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’

In short, our Mission today is: ‘Go and tell my people that I love them; Go and show my people that I love them; Go and gather them all together and bring them back to me.

Kevin Walsh is a priest in the Diocese of Parramatta in Sydney. He has been formed in the Passionist tradition, and Ministers to the Aged, the Sick, the Dying and the Bereaved.