Sisters and Brothers! Though I can’t report that we became miraculously richer in earthly currency but as the Christmastide is being brought to its completion, on this Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord, with full confidence I can proclaim to you that we do have wealth which has been given to us purposely and which will not be taken away from us. St John the Apostle in our Second Reading wrote that ‘our faith – is the victory over the world.’ What we believe in is ‘that Jesus is the Son of God.’
This Sunday gives us the account of the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus is not a baby any more. He is 30 years of age. However there is something which still belongs to the Christmas message. As we witness Jesus’ baptism we discover that he is the Son of God, ‘You are my Son’ says the voice from heaven. Jesus enters his public ministry not simply as a great preacher or a prophet but as the Only Begotten Son of God the Father. As we witness Jesus’ baptism we also discover his eternal ‘Holy Family.’ We cannot see Mary and Joseph at his Baptism but we see ‘the Holy Spirit, like a dove, descending on him.’ We also hear the voice of his Father coming from heaven: ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’
The open heaven in today’s Gospel is like a window through which we can get a glimpse of the eternal Holy Family which as Christians we call the Blessed Trinity. What we can see through this window is how loving and united this eternal Holy Family is. The love which is given and received within the Blessed Trinity can make us shy; we may feel that we should look away because we are intruding this intimate relationship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However my dear fellow believers don’t be shy. Don’t look away. On the contrary fix your eyes on this Epiphany happening at Jesus’ Baptism. Shepherds had their Epiphany when the angles send them to the manger. God revealed himself to them. The Wise Men had their Epiphany when the star led them to Bethlehem. God revealed himself to them. John the Baptist had his Epiphany when he baptised Jesus. God revealed himself to him as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
On Christmas Day with the shepherds we went to the manger. There we discovered that God was also a human being. On the Epiphany Sunday with the Wise Men we went again to the manger. There we discovered that this God-Man in the manger is the precious and life-giving treasure not only for the Jewish people but for all of us who touched by his grace believe in him. On this Day of the Baptism of the Lord we stand by John the Baptist at the Jordan River and discover that the boy whom we adored in the manger is our way to the eternal Holy Family, the Blessed Trinity. The public ministry he begins in today’s Gospel will be continued in the Church until the end of time. This ministry is about evoking faith in women and men which leads to their baptism. When we were baptised we became sisters and brothers of the One who was baptised by John the Baptist. He didn’t need a baptism but he did it so our baptism could unite us with him. This is our wealth which is more life changing than any fortune which can end up in our bank account.
Let me end this homily by showing you an image of the Holy Trinity.
This is your Family. Do you believe that? So say it loudly: This is my Family.
This is where you belong to. Do you believe that? So say it loudly: I belong to this Family.
To what you have just said I tell you: AMEN.