“This is My Beloved Son, My favour rests upon Him” (Luke 3: 22)
The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord could easily be called the Feast of the Manifestation of the Trinity: for here we see God the Son baptised; God the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove and now God the Father speaks: “You are My Son, the Beloved; My favour rests upon You” (Luke 3: 22). This is very significant because at each of our baptism, we were baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19). Thus we were grafted into the Person of the Blessed Trinity. Baptism thus opens us into this new life of union and oneness with the Triune God. By this very fact we, the baptised, do not pray outside of God, we pray within God because we are one with Him.
At baptism, we are incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. We become parts of that Body, which Jesus is the Head (Romans 12: 5; 1 Corinthians12: 12-27; Ephesians 3: 6; 5: 23; Colossians 1: 18, 24). Jesus clearly confirms this when, on the way to Damascus, He confronted Saul saying: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9: 3). Christ identified the Church with Himself as one and the same Person. By being baptised into Christ and made members of His Body, we ourselves who have been baptised become bonded into this One Body. There are no longer Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-born, for we were all baptised in the same Name of the Blessed Trinity (1 Corinthians 12: 13). Baptism therefore presents a great demand on us all to be united in the love of one another so much so “If one member suffers, all suffer together; and if one member is honoured, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12: 26). St Paul uses the analogy of the organs of the body to depict the intrinsic inter-connectedness among all the baptised (1 Corinthians 12: 15-25).
Let the celebration of this feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ be an opportunity for us to recall the day we were baptised; let it rekindle that light that was entrusted to us; let it awaken the zeal of the Spirit that we received; let it bring back the joy we shared on that day; and let it revitalise those gifts we were given so that we can be true witnesses of The One Who was baptised so that we could share in His life.