Mercy At The Jordan

 Tissot: Baptism of Jesus

John was calling people to repentance when he was baptizing at the Jordan. As he was doing so on this particular day, those coming to be baptized saw him look up and stop for a moment, and then say: "Behold the Lamb of God." Jesus came to the Jordan that day not because He needed to be cleansed of any sin, but to show us how to do the will of the Father. In His humility in asking John to baptize Him, Christ shows us the mercy of God. In some way Christ was affirming what John was doing and saying. John was crying out "Repent!" Jesus' actions that day showed us how. His actions also showed us that He would be with us as we examine our lives in this effort to repent.
When we look at the various times in Scripture where Jesus healed and forgave someone, we see that He is right there with them. When the woman was caught in adultery, He walked up to her, offered her His hand in raising her up in the midst of those who would seek to kill her. He tells her her sins are forgiven and to go and sin no more. Jesus approaches the woman at the well to ask her for a drink, but is there with her as she reveals to Him the sins of her own life. He offers her Living Water, and she is able, through faith in Jesus as Messiah to repent and proclaim all that He had done for her. In every healing encounter people had with Jesus, He tells them that their faith has saved them. He tells us the same, and is with us just the same.
Jesus' baptism is a model of humility and mercy. Our own baptism brings us into life with this Mystery of Mercy. Baptism is the first sacrament we receive; it cleanses us from Original Sin. Through and because of our baptism we are given grace to live the will of the Father in our own lives. There is great freedom in this; we are free to live and do what is right in and through Christ. Baptism immerses us in this life and opens the way for us to continue to receive God's grace in the other sacraments. When we fail to live our Christian lives, we can be reconciled with God in the sacrament of Reconciliation, we receive the strength and nourishment we need to live our lives in Christ by receiving Him in Holy Communion.
Today as we hear John cry out to repent, let us remember that as we do so, Christ is there waiting for us. He will be with us as we look at our lives and help us to see where we need to change. Our faith in Him will save us and set us free. We never have to fear of looking at our sins by ourselves. When we heed the invitation to repent, Jesus is there, just as He was at the Jordan that day, with His mercy.


Anne said…
Karinann, in these, and in all of your recent posts, I can feel your closeness to God and your desire to remain right there, next to Him.

Thank you for sharing your love of the Lord with all of us in the blogosphere and for inspiring us to draw close to Him as well, knowing that he is always near, loving us so deeply.
Matthew said…

The baptism of our Lord has always amazed me. In this act of humility he gave us such a great example to follow. So often the reason we do not come to God, go to confession, ask forgiveness from a friend, etc... is because we are too proud to do so. We are ashamed of our sin but too proud to admit it. Christ's humility was such a gift to us in setting the example of how we should live our lives.
Karinann said…
Thank you both for sharing your thoughts on this today.
Anne I am always amazed at what comes through my writing.
Michael said…
Wonderful post Karinann!

Every time I hear this passage, I am moved at how Jesus (sinless!) was baptized just to show us and lead by example.

And you are right. He is always there for us. Its so beautiful that its hard to put into words ... and yet you did!

God Bless!
Karinann said…
Thanks Michael- glad the post touched you. All praise and credit go to the Holy Spirit.
Panama Joe said…
Hi Kariann. I am a seminarian looking for a good picture of Simeon to use in a holy card. You used an image here that is great. Can you tell me where you got it from?
Karinann said…
Panama Joe,
The picture of Simeon in the post you referred to is by Fra Angelico. I don't recall the particular site I found it on, but feel free to copy it from my post.
Prayers for your vocation.
Panama Joe said…
Oops, the next one! The close up of Simeon.
Karinann said…
Panama Joe,
Most of the artwork I use on the blog comes from various art sites. Feel free to copy whatever you see. I am not sure of copyright laws. For the purpose of the blog I try to name and/or link source wherever possible.
I often use the work of artist James Tissot which I download from the Brooklyn Museum site.
Daily Grace said…
His mercy is indeed a mystery. It is a gift given and I am very grateful.

A truly beautiful reflection. Thank you.
Karinann said…
Thanks Daily Grace and God bless!