“After Jesus was baptized, He came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for Him], and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon Him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
In the days of Jesus, the Jewish people believed that there were three realms: (1). The Realm of God, which was heaven. (2). The Realm of Man, which was earth and (3). The Realm of the Dead, which was below the earth. They believed that the three realms never mixed.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist and, at that moment, three things happen: The heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends, and the voice of God is heard.
It is a profound moment for the Jewish people but it is also a profound moment for each and every one of us. The Most Holy Trinity recognizably present together by the witnesses of Jesus’ baptism.
On the day of our baptism, the heavens open for us, and as the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends upon us, the grace of God pours down upon us. The love of God pours forth to us and, in that moment, a special relationship begins, a love relationship with our Father, with Jesus Christ, His son, and with the Holy Spirit.
It is a very personal relationship. Through our Baptism, we become a part of the Baptism of Jesus. We share in the heavens opening and the spirit of God descending on Jesus and comes to each of us in our baptisms.
The Holy Spirit remains with us and speaks to us in many different ways. We are called to share that gift of the spirit with others. All of this begins on the day of our baptism when the water is poured over our head, and the words are spoken, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In that moment, life is given — God’s life, God’s love — given to us in baptism.
When we hear those words from God, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased,” those are the same words that were spoken to us on the day of our baptism. We are God’s beloved sons and daughters, and we are coheirs of heaven, new creatures, and temples of the Holy Spirit.
God loves us, He is with us and He has promised to be with us until the end of the age. That is why He gave us His son. That is why His son suffered and died on the cross for each one of us, to show us how much God the Father truly loves and cares for us.
When we are in the trenches together, sometimes it can be very challenging and difficult, and we forget that we are beloved. All of us are loved by God on a very personal level and that love began in a special way on the day of our baptism.
The challenge for each of us is to reflect that love to others in our daily lives, to be witnesses of God’s love to everyone we meet as disciples of Jesus. Our baptism is a call to holiness and action, and it should permeate every aspect of our lives.
We are given sanctifying grace in our Baptism through the Most Holy Trinity that gives us the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Our supernatural life has its roots in our baptism. (CCC 1266). And with that sanctifying grace an indelible mark is made in our souls that conforms us to Christ as priest, prophet, and kings and queens. As such, we each have a right and duty to participate actively in the mission of the Church, to be disciples!
Our call or mission is to follow the Great Commission of Jesus, and His command to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Through the waters of baptism, we are forever united to God and to one another: “One body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
As we journey through life, may our baptismal identity as priests, prophets, kings and queens, be a source of joy, strength, and unwavering hope, guiding us towards the eternal glory that awaits us in heaven.