Church of the

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059


January 09, 2022

Baptism of the Lord

With our custom of child baptisms, celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th and then his baptism on January 9th seems like a feasible timeline but we should remember that Jesus is no longer a baby – he is thirty something! Today, as we reflect on the adult baptism of Jesus, we can gain insight into the significance of our own baptism.

In our Gospel today, St. Luke, the evangelist, is explaining the meaning of the baptism of John (the Baptist) and the meaning of baptism for Jesus. John’s baptism is a rite, an immersion in water, symbolizing repentance and conversion. He challenges those who step forward to be baptized: “If you have an extra cloak, give one to someone who is cold … if you have plenty of food give some to a person who is hungry … do not defraud … do not bully.” John’s baptism prepares for God’s coming Kingdom. John distinguishes between his own baptism and the baptism of Jesus. Speaking of the mightier One who is to come, John says of Jesus, he will baptize you “with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Interestingly, John baptizes Jesus but there is no testimony of Jesus ever baptizing anyone. Jesus invites his disciples to be baptized into his baptism. When Jesus refers to his own baptism, he speaks of his death. Jesus is asking his disciples to be baptized or immersed in the Paschal Mystery of his life, death, and resurrection. The baptism of Jesus is an epiphany, a revelation of God’s presence and glory. After all the people are baptized and Jesus is baptized and praying, the “heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove. And a voice comes from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’”

Our own baptism is a combination of the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus. Baptism is a renunciation of our sin and our confession of the mysteries of our Catholic faith. In the Holy water we are cleansed of our sins and initiated into the life of Christ and of the Church. At our baptisms, as adopted children, we hear God the Father say to us: You are my beloved son. You are my beloved daughter. With the Sacred Oil of Chrism, we are anointed to continue the mission of Christ in the world. 

It is awesome and a bit frightening. Do we dare renew the promises made at our baptisms? Please stand with me as we renounce sin and the power of evil and confess the mysteries of our Catholic Faith.

V. Do you reject Satan?

R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.



Second Sunday Ordinary Time


Stewardship is having the wisdom to understand that everything we have is a gift from God.

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