Baptism of Jesus…
The first step of Christ’s journey began at the Jordan River:
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” -Mark 1:9-11, NAB
Just as Christ’s first step began with Baptism, so does ours. It is for this reason that we practice Baptism as the first of the Sacraments of Initiation. Before we head out into the wilderness, as Christ did, we must first cleanse ourselves through Baptism.
Christ’s life was given as an example for us to follow. To have a deeper, richer faith, we must follow in His footsteps. As Jesus takes this first step, He confirms the work of John the Baptist and shows us the importance of it.
As Christ is baptized, the Holy Spirit comes down upon Him, and, in the same way, we also receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit at this time. Those gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts will be essential tools as we begin our Christian life.
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey. For Christ, it marked the beginning of His ministry here on Earth. For us, it marks the beginning of our faith journey that will continue for the rest of our lives and beyond. Let us remember the example Christ gave for us at the Jordan River, and may we follow in His footsteps, armed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, on our journey through life.