Gospel: Mt 3:13-17
At that time, Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent him, and said, “How is it, you come to me? I should be baptized by you!“
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be like that for now; so that we may fulfill the right order.“ John agreed.
As soon as he was baptized, Jesus came up out of the water. All at once, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God come down, like a dove, and rest upon him. At the same time, a voice from heaven was heard, “This is my Son, the Beloved; he is my Chosen One.“
“Fulfilling the Right Order“
John, who introduced Jesus to us last week, now completes his own mission and now ushers Jesus to his own mission. John is quick to tell us that Jesus DID NOT NEED the baptism of repentance that he was giving as Jesus HAD NO SIN to repent of. (John’s baptism is not the same as the Sacrament of Baptism that we now celebrate. John’s baptism was more a rite of admitting one’s sinfulness and desire for forgiveness; whereas, our sacramental baptism actually washes us of all sin and makes of us all adopted children of the Father and members of the body of Christ.) Jesus insists on being baptized, nonetheless, in order to fulfill THE RIGHT ORDER.
What is this “Right Order?“ Jesus had come to do the “Order“ of the Father. The plan of the Father was for Jesus to make atonement for all sin by becoming the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and thus reconcile all to the Father. The work of reconciliation meant that Jesus had to be numbered amongst sinners and share the lot of all sinners(see 2 Cor 5:21) and then expiate for all sin by his sacrificial death. Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father, was to fulfill all that had been prophesied of the SUFFERING SERVANT OF YAHWEH in the book of the Prophet Isaiah.
The mystery of the Baptism of the Lord at Jordan is so profound! The readings of this week will unfold the full implication of Jesus’ descent into the waters of the Jordan to undergo the baptism of John the Baptist! We might say “abangan ang mga susunod na eksena!”