The Baptism of Jesus is a significant moment in the earthly life of Jesus. It marks the time of transition from the hidden life of Jesus at Nazareth to the very public life of preaching and teaching that ended with his death and resurrection.

Prior to the baptism, John the Baptist was already at work preparing the way for Jesus. John was calling people to repentance and telling them that Jesus was coming soon. At the appointed time Jesus makes his appearance and is baptised in the Jordan river by John. As Jesus comes up out of the water the Spirit descends on him, confirming him in the mission he is about to undertake.

Baptism is a significant moment in the life of every Christian person. It is the formal beginning of a life lived in the Christian faith with the promise of eternal life with God awaiting the baptised person as the end of their days.

Living the promises of baptism entails a commitment to living the love of God and neighbour as modelled for us by Jesus. The same Spirit that came upon Jesus at his baptism is also given to us at our baptism and again at Confirmation. The Spirit helps us with the gifts and graces we need to live as Jesus asks us to. A Christian life is a demanding way of life and one that needs constant renewal. As we recall the baptism of Jesus today, we remember our own baptism and renew our commitment once again to living as disciples of Jesus.

Fr. Kieran Coghlan