Happy New Year!
Not only do we enter into 2014, but with the celebration of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we return from the Christmas season to Ordinary Time.
The Lord’s baptism may not seem much of a rallying cry, but the meaning of His action in receiving baptism are revolutionary. He has no sin, and yet He receives the baptism that forgives sins. It is an act of submission and humility we are all meant to follow.
Baptism is often tied to death—death of sin and death to self. Christ’s baptism is a precursor, a foreshadowing of His death on the cross. He voluntarily offers Himself in Baptism in the same way that He will voluntarily offer Himself at the Crucifixion. In short, baptism is about offering ourselves completely to God, submitting to God so that we might receive new life.
Language of submission, obedience and humility is fairly alien to the modern, western culture. We may often question the necessity of offering ourselves—our entire lives!—to God. Christ responds by offering His perfect example: He who merits the obedience of others instead submits in humility—and as a result is raised up as God’s beloved Son. If we are willing to do the same, we too have the promise of new life and membership in God’s family.