Monday, January 9, 2006
The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Baptism of Christ by Guido Reni, 1622

Second Class (1962 Calendar): January 13

"Our Lord was baptized because He wished, not to be cleansed, but to cleanse the waters, that, being purified by the flesh of Christ that knew no sin, they might have the virtue of baptism" (St. Ambrose).

Baptism is such a beautiful gift since it is through baptism that we receive sanctifying grace and are literally part of the Body of Christ. Baptism is the first step to eternal life. Why do Catholics baptize their children quickly after their birth? Because Baptism is the start of eternal life. Those that reject baptism will reject eternal life. We become members of the Church, and the stains of all sins are washed away through the Sacrament of Baptism. To read much more on Baptism, see my post: The Sacrament of Baptism. 

In the pre-1955 calendar, January 13th was known as the Octave Day of the Epiphany. Many of the Rites in the Church had special antiphons and prayers today in the Office regarding our Lord's Baptism, since the Baptism of Christ is one of the three manifestations included in our Lord's epiphany (i.e. His manifestation to the world). But the Octave Day was never liturgically known as the "Commemoration of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ." That change in name occurred after the 1955 changes that saw the Octave of the Epiphany abolished.

Meditation on the Baptism of Christ from Christ in His Mysteries by Dom Columba Marmion

And Jesus being baptized, forth with came out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him. And behold a voice from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."

Jesus stoops so low as to mingle with the multitude of sinners, and forthwith the heavens are opened to magnify Him — He acknowledges Himself worthy of the strokes of divine justice, and behold, the Father declares that He takes all His delight in Him: Humiliavit semetipsom... propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum.

It is at this moment that the mission of Jesus, as One sent by God, is declared authentic. The Father's testimony accredits, so to speak, His Son before the world, and hence this testimony relates to one of the characters of Christ's work as regards ourselves.

The mission of Jesus has a double aspect: it bears at the same time the character of redemption and of sanctification. It is to redeem souls, and, this done, to infuse life into them. That is the whole work of the Savior.

O God, Whose only-begotten Son hath appeared in the substance of our flesh: grant, we beseech Thee, that by Him, in Whom outwardly we recognize our likeness, we may deserve to be inwardly created anew: Who with Thee liveth and reignth.

1 comment(s):

del_button January 9, 2006 at 1:36 PM
Belinda said...

I Belinda promise to reject Satan, and all his works and empty promises.

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