It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. (Mark 1:9-11)
So many of us define ourselves in so many ways. Many of us define ourselves by our accomplishments. The enemy, the accuser, wants to define us by our sins, failings, mistakes. But God the Father in Heaven defines you in the most beautiful and amazing of ways.
This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. The Gospel we hear is often the gospel you will hear at baptismal celebrations. In the Gospel of Mark, we enter into the scene of Jesus’ own baptism. What happens at Jesus’ own baptism is that the heavens are opened and the Holy Spirit descends upon him and God the Father gives him his identity as a beloved son. The same is true with us at our baptism.
Each and every one of us have come into the world as beautiful creations of God. But at baptism, we are given a new identity as beloved sons and daughters of God. Firstly, we are ‘beloved,’ which means dearly loved or being a much-loved person. This is who we are. Loved by God! Secondly, we are sons and daughters to the heavenly Father. This means we can relate to God in a new way through our baptism. Having a heavenly father means we can relate to him our thoughts, feelings, desires, hopes, fears, longings, etc. and then listen to his thoughts, desires, will for our lives as we journey our walk of faith. This is called prayer. And our identity given to us in baptism enables us to pray and relate to the father like never before. Being so loved and being a son and daughter of God is something we need to unpack and engage in for the rest of our lives. Take some time today to thank God for the gift of baptism in your life and all that comes with it. And if you or a loved one have never been baptized, please let us know and we will get you on the journey of having a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father!
May God’s peace and joy be with you,
Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler