In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:9-11 NRSV).
Tomorrow, Christians will be celebrating The First Sunday after The Epiphany and The Baptism of the Lord. Of this great feast, St. Maximus of Turin wrote:
For when the Savior is washed all water for our baptism was made clean, purified at its source for the dispensing of baptismal grace to the people of future ages. Christ is the first to be baptized, then, so that Christians will follow after him with confidence. (The Liturgy of the Hours, Volume 1, Advent and Christmas Seasons, p.612).
At Christ’s Baptism, our identity as Christians was bestowed on us in the Person and action of Jesus. Even more so, by the Holy Spirit descending and the voice from heaven that said, “You are my Beloved; with you I am well-pleased.” In God’s own words that proclaimed Jesus, God’s Incarnate Word; as God’s Beloved; with whom God was well-pleased; are also bestowed upon all of us by our common Baptism into the life of Jesus.
It does not matter what we have done in the past. Those labels that others use to divide and define us, are meant to stamp us out for
what we are. God welcomes us to live into who we are, and who we are to become.
“You are my Beloved; with you I am well-pleased.”
That is just something much too wonderful not to contemplate.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB