Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections

The Baptism of Jesus and What It Means for Us. Sunday Breakfast

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Sunday Breakfast With the Word Baptism of the Lord Year C. 

Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11, Titus 2:11-14,3:4-7, Luke 3:15-16,21-22

 

Click here to get the full readings

 

 

In our liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord brings to the end, the celebration of Christmas.

 

The baptism of Jesus is highly significant. In the sense that it puts an end to Jesus’ early and hidden life. For nothing much was known of the early life of Jesus. 

 

 

The Baptism of Jesus also marks the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and public life. It is the second epiphany. In the sense that God the Father Himself confirms the identity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. 

 

This is unlike last Sunday, when God reveals Jesus to the magi. In today’s liturgy, God the father directly confirms the identity of Jesus as the messiah and son of God. 

 

 

Also, the appearance of the Holy Spirit confirms Jesus as a member of the Holy Trinity. The Baptism of Jesus is not just an ordinary event. It has great significance in our own baptism, spirituality and the way we worship God. 

 

Read More

 

Is God Pleased With Us. Baptism of the Lord Year A( 2020)

 

How pleased is God with Us? Baptism of the Lord Year B(2021)

 

What We say About Others: Breakfast With the Word

 

 

 

Something New has Come.

 

We know that the book of Isaiah concentrates mainly on the Babylonian exile, which began in 586 B.C. 

 

This is when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and burnt the temple. He then carried the people as slaves to Babylon. This exile came to an end in 539 B.C. Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. He gave orders to rebuild their temple.  

 

 

It was clear that what happened to the Israelites was a punishment from God, who used Nebuchadnezzar as the instrument to this. The experience of the exile was very harsh.

 

 

 

The chapters 1-39 of Isaiah outline the punishment that the people would expect because they relied on alliances with other nations instead of placing their trust in God

 

 

 

 Then from Isaiah 40, another era which is now of God’s mercy, love, comfort and encouragement came. Isaiah was seen consoling and comforting the people, hence promising that something new has come. 

 

 

 

The people have been punished but now God is going to restore them to their former status as his chosen people. 

 

 

Hence, God orders Isaiah saying ‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended and that her sin is atoned for, it was a moment of recreation. Then, comes the voice in the wilderness asking the people to prepare the way for the Lord. 

 

 

2. We recall these as we celebrate the baptism of the Lord. The baptism of Jesus is not a baptism to wash away sins from Jesus but an event that ushers in a new creation. 

 

 

John who is the voice that prepares the way for Jesus as Isaiah prophesies in the first reading, today baptises Jesus, thereby ushering in the new era the people have been waiting for. 

 

 

2. Secondly, we see that immediately after the baptism, the gospel says that the heavens open and the Spirit like a dove descended on Him. Then the voice of the father speaks and confirms Jesus as His beloved Son. 

 

 

Before creation, the Spirit hovered over the waters and today, the Spirit of God hovered again over the water of baptism, the water of Jordan. 

 

 

The voice of the father which speaks things into existence at the beginning of creation was heard again over the waters of baptism. 

 

 

The word of God, Jesus Christ which brings things into being, sanctifying and putting creation in order in the beginning is now in the waters of baptism at Jordan, sanctifying it. 

 

 

Therefore, this indicates that the events of the old are repeating itself with the baptism of Jesus, hence, a new creation has come, the waters of the old have been sanctified to recreate us anew again.

 

 

This then is a sign that a new creation is ushering in. Therefore, the sacrament of baptism recreates us and makes us new creatures. This is one of its meanings for us. 

 

 

 

3. When Jesus enters the waters of baptism which was used as a sign of repentance and cleansing of sins, Jesus by that singular act reveals what His mission to the world is. 

 

 

Jesus has come to become one with us, even in our weaknesses. He did this, not because he wanted to be a sinner but to sanctify us from sin and release us from its slavery. 

 

 

He becomes one with us so that we can become one with Him. Therefore, the baptism of Jesus begins the journey to set us free from the power of sin. 

 

 

4. The Implication is that through Jesus we are liberated and free. Through Jesus, something new has come into our lives. We can now decide whether to embrace this new moment or to reject it. 

What is your decision?

 

 

 

 

The Significance Of the Baptism of Jesus.

 

 

1. Before Jesus came for baptism today, John the Baptist has been the voice preparing the way for the Lord. 

 

 

John moved from one place to another preaching the gospel of repentance and baptizing all the people who came from Judea and Jerusalem to be baptised by him. 

 

 

John’s baptism is a way of preparing the people for the coming of the Messiah.

Therefore, John preaches repentance and confession of sins as a way for people to prepare on how to enter the blessing of His Kingdom.  

 

 

John’s message was a message of judgment and wrath. He warns the people that the kingdom of God is at hand and the way to do that is to repent and confess their sins. 

 

 

John makes this clearer in Matthew 3:11 when He says “I baptize you with water for repentance.” Also, Paul affirms this in Acts 19:4

 

 

So, when Jesus comes for baptism today through John, Jesus affirms the importance of baptism. Jesus ascertains the necessity of baptism in the journey of our salvation. 

 

 

2. Secondly, Jesus also affirms the need to seek repentance of our sins. In essence, Jesus makes it clearer through His baptism that one step to enter into God’s kingdom or prepare for His coming is to confess our sins and repent from our atrocities. Therefore, We cannot welcome Jesus in a heart deep with guilt and sin. 

 

 

3. In Matthew’s account (Matthew 3:13-15), When Jesus comes for baptism, John hesitates to baptize him. This is because John’s baptism is a baptism of repentance, and Jesus is without sin and not to talk of repentance.  

 

 

 

Therefore, by choosing to be baptized, Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. By choosing to be baptised, Jesus emphasizes the need for our own baptism. 

 

 

Therefore, through our baptism, we become with Him. By accepting baptism, Jesus sanctifies the water of baptism, so that all who undergo through the waters of baptism can receive sanctification and adoption as sons/daughters of the most high God. 

 

 

 

Heavens Confirms The Messiah.

 

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For years, the jews have been expecting the coming of the Messiah. So, Luke reports that a feeling of great expectancy had grown among the people who then began to think that John may be the Christ they are waiting for. 

 

John though distinguishes Himself from Jesus by saying that He baptises the people with water but one who is to come will baptise them with the Holy Spirit and fire. 

 

 

Now when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’

 

 

The voice from heaven authoritatively confirms who Jesus is amidst the confusion the people were having on who may be the messiah. 

 

 

Therefore, God at this point, confirms the identity of Jesus. In essence, Jesus should not be compared with any other prophet that has come to the world. Jesus is divine and different. Everything about Him shows that He is totally different. 

 

 

The voice confirms that Jesus comes directly from the father. Therefore, it was also a moment of approval. The Father at this point distinguishes Jesus from other prophets.

 

 

Also, It was a moment of confirmation, Jesus might have been waiting for a signal of approval from his Heavenly Father, and during his baptism, Jesus got this approval of Himself as the Father’s “beloved Son. 

 

 

It is also a form of confirmation that the time to begin his work has started. Therefore, the appearance of the Holy Spirit was a form of equipping Jesus with everything He needs for the work He is to do. 

 

 

Therefore to be effective in our call or our missionary works, we need the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire.

 

John said that Jesus is coming with a different baptism. Therefore, with the coming of Jesus, baptism is no longer limited to only the baptism of repentance, the baptism that Jesus brings is that of the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

 

 If baptism is for renewal, therefore, Jesus is coming to renew us through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

 

 

The power of the Holy Spirit will create us and fuel in us new energy and new vigour to work in God’s vineyard. This is the symbolism of the fire. Fire comes with great energy and heat. 

 

 

When the Holy Spirit came to the apostles on the day of Pentecost, there was an appearance of tongues of fire. 

 

 

After this experience, the apostles became totally changed, renewed and filled with divine energy to work for God and spread the gospel amidst persecutions and challenges. 

 

 

Therefore, this is what we will experience when we allow Jesus to baptize us with the power from High.

 

 

Therefore, with Jesus, baptism is no longer only limited to the water of baptism but also an infilling and overflowing of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This was often experienced as people were prayed for with hands laid on them (Acts 6:6, 8:17, 9:17, 13:3-4, and 19:6).

 

 

Apart from heat and energy, another quality of fire is that it purifies and burns up anything worthless. Therefore, Jesus will thoroughly clean us and thus destroy whatever does not give God glory in our lives. 

 

What this means is that a relationship with Jesus has a transforming and purifying power.

Therefore, if you truly want to experience a mighty change, create a loving relationship with Jesus, ask Him to baptise you with His Holy Spirit and fire. When the Holy Spirit dwells, significant changes happen. 

 

 

 

Conclusion.

 

 

1. The First point we have to reiterate in our conclusion is the importance of baptism and repentance. By accepting to undergo baptismal purification, Jesus underscores the need for us to be baptised.

 

 If a divine person like Jesus can willingly accept the waters of baptism, then it is enough to tell us the necessity of it in our spiritual lives. 

 

Also, if the baptism of John is for repentance and Jesus willingly accepts that it shows the need for us to repent of our sins. In our journey of salvation, repentance is extremely necessary. 

 

 

 

2. As Jesus willingly decides to go for baptism to fulfil all righteousness, we also have to make that true and sincere decision to come back to God. We have to seek true repentance of heart. 

 

 

This is beyond living a life of pretence so that people might praise us. It is beyond pretending to be powerful prayer warriors while our hearts are full of evil and guilt. This is a call for sincere repentance.

 

 

 As Jesus willingly goes to the water of baptism today, we have to know that the decision to change and repent must come from us. 

 

 

We have to decide wholeheartedly to return to God and seek repentance of heart. 

Therefore, we have to ask ourselves ‘what is that thing in me that does not give God glory? Now is the time to chisel all of them out. 

 

 

 

We cannot continue to live in sin. We cannot continue to live a life of pretence all through the years of our existence. Let the decision to change and repent truly come from us. 

 

 

 

 

3. By willingly accepting the waters of baptism of repentance, Jesus also shows his readiness to atone for the sins of mankind. In essence, Jesus shows His readiness to fulfil the mission by which the Father sends Him into the world. 

 

 

Also, by accepting baptism we show also our readiness to belong to the community of Gods family. We show our earnest desire to only promote God’s kingdom on earth. 

 

 

 

That is why during our baptism we promise to renounce everything that belongs to the devil. We do this so that we can be fully in Christ Jesus. 

 

 

So, the question today is “do we still remember our baptismal promises? Do we still abide by them? As Jesus willingly decides to atone for our sins, can we also decide to come to Him for repentance? Can we also decide to make reparations for our sinful pasts? 

 

 

 

Can we decide to let go of all the grudges and injuries we are bearing in our hearts for another? 

Therefore, the baptism of Jesus is a reminder that as Jesus decides to atone for our sins, let us do everything possible to keep our promises and live a pure life.

 

 

 

4. The gospel today reveals that whatever happens today began at the point of prayer. Before the baptism, heaven did not open.

 

After the baptism, the heavens did not open, but immediately Jesus begins to pray, great things began to happen. At that point, heaven speaks to the earth and the Holy Spirit begins His work of empowerment. 

 

 

 

This is a powerful epiphany of what happens when we pray. Before the baptism of Jesus, John and the people were interacting but immediately Jesus prays, heaven takes over. Therefore, the baptism of Jesus reveals what we ought to know about prayers. 

 

 

Prayer is a spiritual activity. At prayers, the spiritual become solely involved. At prayers, heaven takes over. God intervenes and the Holy Spirit comes down to do his work.

 

 

Therefore, the only avenue to involve the Trinity in everything that we do is through the power of prayers. Never underrate what prayer can do.

 

 

 

5. Therefore, the baptism of Jesus means a lot for us. It shows us how God directly intervenes in human affairs.

 

 

 This exposes to us the need and necessity of our baptism. It reveals what happens when we pray. It reveals that great things happen whenever we pray.

 

 

The baptism of Jesus reveals a lot about the love of God. It exposes the humility of Jesus. For Jesus decides to enter the same water with sinners. What a humble Man He is. Finally, the baptism of Jesus shows us the need to repent and seek a change of heart.

 

 

 As the voice says of Jesus today, “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. What will God say of us presently? 

 

 

Are our lives pleasing to God or pleasing to any human being? Are our lives pleasing to the devil? Is the devil happy with us or is God with us?

 

 

May God help us to seek mercy, repentance and forgiveness of sins. May His grace always accompany us in everything that we do. Amen. 

 

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52 Comments
  1. Onukwugha Florence says

    Thanks So Much Father for this wonderful reflection,May Heaven open doors for me and the Spirit of God like 🕊️ Dove will descend on me to change every ugly Situations in my life… Remain Blessed Father…m

    1. JUSTINEMARY ONYEKWELU says

      Lord God Almighty, I thank thee for the ample opportunity you have given me to witness what it truly means to be baptise. I renew my baptismal vows as an infant and vehemently believed that the Holy Spirit has taken charge of all I do as your Son. Through Christ Our Lord AMEN AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!!!!

  2. Onukwugha Florence says

    Thanks So Much Father for this wonderful reflection,May Heaven open doors for me 🕊️ Dove will descend on me to change every ugly Situations in my life… Remain Blessed Father…m

  3. Stanley Obilor says

    Amen Fr.
    May the good Lord continually bless and strengthen you!

  4. Eze Nnedinso Blessing says

    My God please have mercy on me and baptise me with Holyspirit and fire

    1. Helen says

      Amen! Thank you Padre. May God’s sufficient grace continue to speak for you. 🙏🙏🙏🙏.

      Lord Jesus, please help us to always seek and serve You with sincerity of heart 🙏

  5. Ekwem Emmanuela Chiamaka says

    Amen and Amen

  6. Chibuzor says

    U are faithful God, let ur spirit dewell in me

  7. Munachimso onuoha says

    Amen
    God I need more of your grace to do will i ask in Jesus name amen 🙏

    1. UCHEM AUGUSTA DABERECHI says

      Thanks very much Father for this inspiring piece.

      May God continue to renew us with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Amen

  8. Eze, Blessing Chinasa says

    Amen. Lord, please draw me nearer to You.

  9. Onyekonwu Ngozi says

    Amen. Thank you Jesus as you continue to baptize and refresh us with the Holy Spirit in Jesus name amen.

  10. James Mailoushi says

    Amen, God inspire us through the Holy Spirit to always keep our baptismal promises to the glory of your name

  11. Angela Madu says

    Amen

  12. Regina Mobu says

    Amen

    1. Stella Ekwemalor says

      Amen
      Good morning Padre
      You have said it all
      May the good Lord continue to help us in our daily lives to live upto God’s expectations.
      Have a great week

  13. Otokpa Elijah says

    Through his baptism may I be return again

  14. Amara says

    Amen!!

  15. Adesanya Ayodeji Mary says

    Amen

  16. Ugwu Obianuju says

    Amen

  17. Blessing Chilo says

    Lord Baptist us afresh with the holy spirit and fire to always do your will through christ our Lord Amen

  18. Bibiana Uche Unachukwu and family says

    Amen . God help me to be faithful to my baptismal vows.

  19. Prince Gee says

    “Amen” to the prayer! Tnx and same divine grace to you…!
    The reflection threw much light on Christ’s baptism, which led to His public ministry. We saw the need for us to pray to activate the spiritual gifts received at baptism… No wonder! Some Prayer Groups embark on “Life in the Spirit Seminar” plus “Praying Over.. ”
    In order words, it’s not enough to claim we are born again by virtue of our baptism but then go away to parade in evils…
    May God please help us through the same Christ Our Lo red, Amen!

  20. Prince Gee says

    “Amen” to the prayer! Tnx and same divine grace to you…!
    The reflection threw much light on Christ’s baptism, which led to His public ministry. We saw the need for us to pray to activate the spiritual gifts received at baptism… No wonder! Some Prayer Groups embark on “Life in the Spirit Seminar” plus “Praying Over.. ”
    In order words, it’s not enough to claim we are born again by virtue of our baptism but then go away to parade in evils…
    ON THE CONTRARY, WE NEED TO LIVE A “LIFE OF PRAYER,” WITH “GOOD WORKS” IN ADDITION SINCE “FAITH WITHOUT GOOD WORK IS DEAD…!”
    May God please help us through the same Christ Our Lo red, Amen!

  21. Prince Gee says

    May God help us through the same Christ Our Lord, Amen!

  22. UGWOKE OSCAR CHUKWUEMEKA says

    May God give us his grace to fulfill and keep to our baptismal promises, the courage to pray and to remain steadfast in his love and guidance. Amen

  23. Okwuchi Juliet says

    Amen 🙏

  24. Anyiam Cornelia says

    Amen

  25. Ifeoma Ugwueze says

    Amen

  26. Maryann obiano says

    We pray that may the grace of God see us through in life and may his baptism today clease us from all guilt and sins that will deprive us of becoming his children in doing his will in Jesus mighty name Amen

  27. Chisom Egwudike says

    Amen

  28. Ibeawuchi Monica says

    Amen. Thank you fr.

  29. Peter Anthony Dodoh says

    Amen

  30. Adeline Chidimma says

    Amen and Amen. God I need your mercy.

  31. Igwe Lilian says

    Amen

  32. Michael Jones says

    Amen.

  33. Rosemary Umeze says

    Amen. Lord, I surrender.
    Thanks Padré

  34. Anujue Ifeanyichukwu Godwin says

    God,help us to always remember and abide by our baptismal promises in Jesus mighty name, Amen.

  35. Dorothy Mary Iyinbor says

    Amen thanks Padre

  36. Sheila says

    Thank you Fr. for this great teaching. The emphasis on prayer and that it is after the prayers that Heaven opened. I pray for consistency in prayer.

  37. Obika Chidimma says

    Amen, thanks Fr.

  38. Kubiat says

    Lord I need this baptism of Holy Spirit and fire

  39. Mbama Christiana says

    Amen and Amen. Today’s message is a powerful one. May the Lord give us the grace to be true christians and always pray fervently as well as lead a good life for others to follow our footsteps. May we always keep our baptismal vows. Amen

  40. Ogechi Anugwom says

    Amen.

    May God bless you Father for all you do to put up these for our salvation.

    Me and my household need Your salvation, love, peace, mercy and grace Oh Lord, Amen.

  41. Ezeagu Anuli says

    Amen, may God help us to genuinely repent from our sins

  42. Mrs Nora Nkoli Anabiri says

    Amennnnnnn

  43. Golu Chetachukwu Angela says

    Amen 🙏 Thank you Jesus, for this word.

  44. Joy Chidiogo Ikeoha says

    Amen. A lot is learnt.

  45. Dr Chinwe Agwoile says

    Thank You, Abba Father, for this wonderful sharing. May You help me to improve on my life of prayer, such that I’ll never be separated from the Assembly of my Brethren. Draw me nearer, nearer to You, Lord!

  46. Eririogu Fidelia says

    Amen. Thanks father

  47. Carmela U. E. says

    Amen! & Amen. Quite an extensive, revealing & educative msg. Thanks & God bless you Fr for always guiding us spiritually. May God grant us the grace to always abide by all these teachings of his baptism, Amen!

  48. Enibe Jacinta Amara says

    Amen

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