The celebration of the Baptism of the Lord officially ends the Christmas season for the church. Tuesday we return to Ordinary time in the liturgical calendar.
A few thoughts on the Baptism - because this celebration follows right on the heels of the celebration of Christmas some people mistakenly think it is referring to baby Jesus being baptized. Sorry folks; but, Jesus was a Jewish baby and on the 8th day they held a bris (brit milah) and observed the circumcision and naming of the baby, following Jewish tradition - as is the custom today. The baptism that we celebrate today at Mass is when Jesus' cousin John baptized Jesus in the Jordan river at approximately the age of 30. The baptism that John practiced was a purification rite among Jewish people which is similar to Christian baptism but not exactly since the practice of Christian baptism not only washes away Original Sin but also designates the one being baptized as a follower of Jesus.
So why did Jesus allow John to baptism Him if he was without sin? Jesus is the Messiah - the Anointed One - and as such it was his responsibility to not only proclaim God's message of love and forgiveness but to show us how to live lives as His followers. In this case Jesus says "do as I do and do as I say".
Live your life following Jesus' example and you will have lived your life well!
In His Name,