Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

January 9, 2021
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11
Psalm 104: 1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30
Titus 2: 11-14, 3: 4-7
Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22

If Jesus was God, why was He baptized? This has always been a perplexing question frequently asked in catechism class. If John’s baptism was one of repentance, this seems to imply falsely that Jesus was a sinner. In fact, John the Baptist tries to prevent Jesus’ being baptized, but Jesus insists. Instead, the Baptism of Jesus is an essential part of His work of the redemption of each human person. Jesus enters into solidarity with all men and women; He becomes one with each of us to share all the aspects of our lives. He even takes upon Himself the condition of our sinfulness, even though He Himself never sinned.

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