He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel of Mark opens with Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. The passage concludes with Jesus receiving clear confirmation of his life and his ministry. Imagine how the fully human Jesus must have felt so relieved, affirmed, and loved upon hearing these words of God! This same, human Jesus, like us, must have been uncertain about how things would unfold for him. Like other human beings, he felt anxious and fearful about things.
Yet his prayers and discernment led to him approach the banks of the Jordan River to partake in a ritual confirmation of his ministry. In what ways might we ask God for confirmation that we are on the right path? Are we open to a message that perhaps God is inviting us to take a different sort of road, but always a road on which we are asked to be loving?
—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.
Almighty ever-living God, who, when Christ had been baptized in the River Jordan and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him, solemnly declared him your beloved Son, grant that your children by adoption, reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, may always be well pleasing to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
—Collect Prayer for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord