Tìm Kiếm

13 tháng 1, 2014

Homily for the Baptism of the Lord (January 12, 2014)

Mt 3: 13-17

By Fr. Joseph Dinh, O.P

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
John the Baptist preached to the Jews that he would baptize those who wanted to return to righteousness in order to meet to the Lord. Today, in a queue of people at the Jordan River, there was a person who also wanted John to baptize him but John refused to do it. The person was Jesus, Son of God. Therefore, let us examine Jesus’ action to find out the meaning underneath that action of Jesus Christ.  

   1. Jesus was a humble person
Last Sunday, when we celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord, we learned that three Magi from the Orient came to Bethlehem to adore the Baby Jesus. Talking about Jesus John the Baptist always announced that: “He came after me but is more powerful than me. I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Following his calling, many repentant people gathered at the Jordan River in order to be baptized by John.
Today, among the people queuing at the Jordan River, the Man who was to baptize others with the Holy Spirit and fire, was also standing there to wait for his turn to be baptized by John with water. Imagine, the Saviour of the world requested his herald to baptize him; the Master of heaven asked his servant who was not worthy even to carry his sandals to cleanse him with water; a human being baptized his Creator; a sinner baptized the God of infinite holiness. However, this happened, not because Jesus was a sinner, but because he wanted to share with our human destiny in order to make mortal human beings into children of immortality. That is why, though Jesus was sinless, He stood in line with sinners and said: “to fulfil all righteousness.”

2. Jesus was the beloved Son of God
After receiving the baptism from John, Jesus went to the wilderness and spent 40 days of fasting. More importantly, on this occasion Jesus Christ wanted to reveal to us his true identity of being the Lord and Redeemer of the world. After coming out of the water, the heavens opened and the Spirit of God like a dove appeared and descended on Jesus. This detail manifested, for the first time, the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and that Jesus Christ is God’s Beloved Son, who is, at the same time, true man and true God in whom the Father took great delight.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We all were baptized with the Holy Spirit. We were not only cleansed from sins but also children of the Lord, with Jesus Christ as our Eldest Brother. In order to redeem us, the Second Person of God has become a humble human being like us. Jesus not only asked John the Baptist to baptize him, but He also conformed to the Father’s will to accept his passion and death on the cross. Therefore, the Father has honoured Jesus with a glory that surpasses all glories. Jesus was baptized to sanctify us. What remains is how humble we are and what attitude we should have in order to show that we obey the words of Jesus. Amen.