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THEN COMETH JESUS FROM GALILEE to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him.

And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 3: 13-17
AND IT CAME TO PASS, IN THOSE DAYS, JESUS came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And forthwith coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit as a dove descending, and remaining on him. And there came a voice from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Mark 1: 9-11
NOW IT CAME TO PASS, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened; And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself was beginning about the age of thirty years.
Luke 3:21-23
THE NEXT DAY, JOHN SAW JESUS COMING TO HIM, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.

This is he, of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me.

And I knew him not, but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him.

And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.
John 1: 29-34
From a Sermon by Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, bishop
The Baptism of Christ
Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptizer; certainly he comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters. He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; he who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists. Then John says: I ought to be baptized by you. He is the lamp in the presence of the sun, the voice in the presence of the Word, the friend in the presence of the Bridegroom, the greatest of all born of woman in the presence of the firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his motherís womb in the presence of him who was adored in the womb, the forerunner and future forerunner in the presence of him who has already come and is to come again. I ought to be baptized by you: we should also add, "and for you," for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.
Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honor to the body that is one with God.

Today let us do honor to Christís baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received - though not in its fullness - a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
Excerpts from Homily by Pope Francis, January 8, 2014
"Our baptism has changed us, given us a new and glorious hope, and empowered us to bring Godís redeeming love to all, particularly the poor, in whom we see the face of Christ. Our baptism has also given us a share in the Churchís mission of evangelization; as disciples, we are also missionaries.

We have all become new creatures in Christ, temples of the Spirit, adoptive children of the Father, members of the Church, brothers in faith and announcers of the Gospel, capable of forgiving and loving all, even our enemies."
Baptism of Christ by Francesco Albani; 1600s; http://en.wikipedia.org
Baptism of Christ by Bartolomť Esteban Murillo; 1655; Staatiche Museen, Berlin; http://www.wga.hu
Baptism of Christ by Pietro Perugino; 1482; Cappella Sistina, Vatican; http://www.wga.hu
Madonna and Christ Child by Gianbettino Cignaroli (b.1706 - d.1770)
The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ
 
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