Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 6 Gospel - Luke 3

When Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him like a dove, and the voice of God the Father announces, “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”  It sounds like all that stuff is good for Jesus, but actually it all is good for us too.  Because if Jesus had not stepped into the Jordan River, then our Baptism would be meaningless, nothing but an empty ritual, and we would never be with Christ, but would burn in Hell.  But since Christ submitted Himself to baptism, Christ was there with you in yours.  As St. Paul says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (Romans 6:3-5). 
Baptism joins you to Christ, and He to us, so that all that is ours becomes His, and all that is His becomes ours.  He takes our shame, and trades it for His glory.  He takes our death and gives us His life.  He takes our slavery and gives us His Sonship.  When the water splashed on you, Christ baptized “you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16) – not to burn and destroy you, but to cleanse and purify you to make your body His temple.  And on that day, Heaven was opened as Christ’s Father became your Father, who said to you, “You are my beloved Child; with you I am well pleased.”

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