January 8th 2023
Baptism of the Lord
With his baptism, Jesus shows he is a Messiah not only humble and supportive but, in front of the Baptist and Israel, a brother of humanity marked by guilt.
Today’s feast is an invitation to reflect on our baptism. What happens in this sacrament? A rebirth from water and the Spirit (Jn 3: 3-5). In fact, the Holy Spirit gives to the new creature the very life of God. What does it mean? Let’s make a parallel. If, on the purely natural plane, parents communicate to the child a principle of life like theirs, the Spirit, from which every man is reborn, communicates on the spiritual level a principle of life like his own. The Spirit imprints a divine principle in the human. But not only that, the rebirth in the Spirit brings also liberation from sin. Paul will say it clearly: “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus “(Rom 8,1). Furthermore, new life is also represented by water. This natural element has in itself a principle of life and of death. In fact, when the catechumen was immersed in the baptismal font it meant the death and resurrection of Christ. Cyril of Jerusalem said in this regard: “The water of salvation has become for you tomb and your mother”. From that precise moment the baptized is fully inserted in Christ as the branch to the vine, and on earth “a new generation of life appears, a different way of life: a change of nature takes place in the nature of men” (Gregory of Nyssa).
Commentary by b. Sandro Carotta, osb Abbazia di Santa Maria – Praglia (Italy)
Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey