Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus. This is the beginning of the Lord Jesus’ ministry and where His identity was revealed to the world. Before this, in accordance with the Jewish culture of that day, the Lord Jesus was known by His father. The Lord Jesus lived for 30 years in the identity of being the son of St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother. But at His bap¬tism, the Father revealed to the Lord Jesus His true identity as the Beloved Son of God. Today, let us ask ourselves a question- what is the identity I hold?
The Lord Jesus’ life changed the day He went to the River Jordan to be baptised by St. John the Baptist. After John baptised Him with water, He was baptised with the Holy Spirit, the heavens opened, and He could hear the voice of God. The Father said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy” (Mark 1:11). It was a revelation about who the Lord Jesus was. It was not a theological truth or a title or a position. Instead, it was a divine revelation about the Lord’s true identity.
Today, the Father wants to speak these same words to us. He wants us to know that we are His beloved sons and daughters. That our identities do not come from the world, but from our Heavenly Father. When we realise that we are not merely a person on the earth without purpose or value, but instead that we belong to the family of God, we become children of God. How can we hear the Father speak these same words to us? It is by sitting at the Father’s feet each day, hear¬ing Him speak to us and having a relationship with Him.
In the First Reading, God calls to us to come to Him. If we are thirsty or hungry for something, instead of going to the world to satisfy our needs, we can go to Him. He wants to give us the love, joy, happiness and satisfaction that we are looking for from the world. The world may ask us for something in exchange for delivering what we ask for, but the Lord wants nothing in exchange except a relationship with us. He wants us to know Him just as He knows us. Isaiah 5: 6 says, “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.” We have been given the privilege to call on the Lord each day and find Him. This is the privilege given to the children of God.
In the Second Reading, St. John reiterates this by saying, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God.” The only way we can know that we are children of God is by hear¬ing it from our Father, when we sit at His feet each day in personal prayer, and hear His voice, He will turn our beliefs in God and the Lord Jesus into a living experience. Once we may have only read about Jesus’ love for us or that we are made children of God through the sacrifice on the cross. We maybe have only believed with our minds, without having a real experience of this. But as we pray each day and come to personally know God, we will tangibly experience this love of God for us and know deep within us, without a doubt, that we are God’s children.
1 John 5:6 says, “And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony.” St. John is saying the Lord Jesus was revealed as the Son of God to us through two events that took place- through His baptism when God opened the heavens and said the Lord Jesus was His Son and at His crucifixion, when God tore the veil of the temple, the earth shook and the rocks split. In addition to water and blood, St. John says the Spirit confirms this testimony of the Lord Jesus being the Son of God. When we are baptised by the Holy Spirit the eyes of our spirit are opened and we come to experi¬ence that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 Cor. 12:3 says, “No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit makes this real within us.
Today, the Lord is calling us to come to Him to find out who we are, instead of looking for it from the world. He is calling us to have a relationship with Him. We can develop a relationship with the Father through personal prayer. When we sit with Him, He will open our eyes to His revelations and give us an experience of being His children. As we continue to nurture this relationship with Him, God will baptise us everyday with the Holy Spirit . Then, just as the Lord Jesus heard the Father call Him His beloved Son, we will also hear the Father call us His beloved children. Instead of it being a verse we read in the bible or a tale that someone told us, we will know in our hearts that we are children of God because God Himself will speak to our hearts.
Prayer: Abba Father, help me to know in the depths of my spirit that I am a child of Yours. Let me live in this identity the rest of my days. Amen.