Baptism was the way in which Jesus presented himself to his people at the beginning of his mission.  On the banks of the river Jordan, Jesus Ė though not a sinner Ė took his place among the procession of sinners who were turning towards God through the pathway of repentance and baptism.  By mingling with his people in this way he took upon himself the burden of our sins and he began gathering all people into the one family of God.  The baptism of Jesus was an event in the history of salvation that opened up the possibility of a new relationship for people with their creator.  Indeed, it so intimately united us with Jesus that we too can be called Godís children.

Todayís feast reminds us of our own baptism and presents us with an opportunity to reflect on the implications of leading our lives as baptised persons, brothers and sisters of Jesus.  Belonging to Godís family involves obligations to be undertaken and decisions to be made about how we are to think and act.  We are invited to respond to the call of Jesus to do good and to follow in his footsteps by being fair in our dealings with others and being kindly in our conversations and decent in our caring and sharing.  We are offered the exciting challenge of getting alongside Jesus and playing our part to make the world a better place.  Letís think about it: the options and opportunities are endless.

Very Rev Dean Kevin Donaghy PP VG