The Baptism of Our Lord



The Baptism of Jesus at the Jordan is the anticipation of his baptism of blood on the Cross, and it is the symbol of the entire sacramental activity by which the Redeemer will bring about the salvation of humanity.

This is why the Patristic tradition has dedicated great interest to this Feast, which is the most ancient after Easter. "Christ is baptized and the whole world is made holy", sings today's liturgy; "he wipes out the debt of our sins; we will all be purified by water and the Holy Spirit" (Antiphon to the Benedictus, Office of Lauds).

There is a strict relationship between the Baptism of Christ and our Baptism. At the Jordan the heavens opened (cf. Lk 3: 21) to indicate that the Saviour has opened the way of salvation and we can travel it thanks to our own new birth "of water and Spirit" (Jn3: 5), accomplished in Baptism.
In it we are inserted into the Mystical Body of Christ, that is, the Church, we die and rise with him, we are clothed with him, as the Apostle Paul often emphasized (cf. I Cor 12: 13; Rom 6: 3-5; Gal 3: 27). The commitment that springs from Baptism is therefore "to listen" to Jesus: to believe in him and gently follow him, doing his will.

In this way everyone can tend to holiness, a goal that, as the Second Vatican Council recalled, constitutes the vocation of all the baptized. May Mary, the Mother of the beloved Son of God, help us to be faithful to our Baptism always.

- Pope Benedict XVI
As Carl E Olson writes in the Catholic World Report:
If baptism is necessary for the forgiveness of sins, why did Jesus insist on being baptized by his cousin, John? And if baptism, as St. Peter wrote, “now saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 3:21), why would the Messiah deem it appropriate, even necessary, to be baptized? What, was the point of the Lord’s baptism in the Jordan River?
These and related questions fascinated and perplexed many of the early Church fathers and theologians. The baptism of Christ, writes Fr. Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B., in his study of the topic, The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan: The Trinitarian and Cosmic Order of Salvation (The Liturgical Press, 1996), “was widely discussed in all the currents of theological reflection” in the early Church, “without doubt partly because of the problems it posed.” From this discussion emerged many helpful theological insights.
Today, however, we have Cardinals (yes, cardinals!) like Joseph (nighty-night baby) Tobin of Newark, appointed Cardinal in November 2016 by Pope Francis, who teaches that Jesus was reborn in grace at His baptism:

I've screen shotted this rather than embedded the original tweet, which can be found here, because surely such a glaring theological error will mean he will have to delete this heresy at some point??




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