The Christ Child was manifested to the wise men from the East as King, the ruler of all nations. The mature God-Man opens His public ministry with the manifestation of His divinity on the shore of the Jordan River.
The Sacrament of Baptism, prefigured by the baptism of John incorporates us into union with God. Adopted as sons and daughters and made co-heirs of heaven through Baptism and the Holy Spirit, we begin our mission as followers of Christ. Our own lives must echo the words of the forerunner of Christ: "Behold! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
GOSPEL: Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus comes from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by you, and you come to me? And Jesus answering, said to him: Allow it to be so now. For so it befits us to fulfill all justice. Then he allowed 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.
COLLECT: O God, your only-begotten Son appeared in the substance of our flesh. May he who outwardly was like us, change us interiorly. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.
From the Maryknoll Missal, 1964