In the gospel of John, we are not actually told of the baptism of Jesus itself. We do have John’s witness to whom Jesus — his full identity, known through proclamation and faith. It is implied in the text that John baptized Jesus. Jesus comes to “take away the sins of the world”, and “he is the Son of God.”

Jesus is given these two facts by the overshadowing/outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which makes the passage very trinitarian. In other words, to know Jesus is iniitmately engaged in knowing the Father and the Spirit. So often in American religion, the Father receives little notice or attention, and the Holy Spirit receives attention mostly in Pentecostal or charismatics movements.

The homily might take this opportunity to clarify John’s claims by proclamation of the Trinity as the true source of our “grace and peace”, as St. Paul wishes upon the Corinthians in the opening of his letter. Stories of baptisms in the family, baptisms that really start out, baptisms at the Easter Vigil work well here. These baptisms draw us into relationships and bonding which leads to bearing witness. From where else does the Church receives its power to evangelize?

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

No Comments

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.