“I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist proclaims that the Messiah and age of the Holy Spirit are coming.
In fact, he is given the honor of baptizing his cousin, Jesus, and witnessing how the Father and Holy Spirit testify to Jesus’ mission.
Although Jesus is sinless and has no need for repentance, because he represents and reconciles humanity to God the Father, Jesus is baptized to show us the way to repentance.
Jesus—who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life—shows us the way to reconciliation with God through the waters of Baptism.
Today we reflect on the gift of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Our sins have been washed away, and we have been given a share in God’s own divine life.
How do we honor that gift?
In this new year, may we redouble our efforts to avoid near occasions of sin and to make good use of our sharing in the Spirit by serving God more faithfully each day.
May God bless and preserve us in grace!
– Fr. Gordon