Christmas Time Jan. 6

Three things happen at baptism. First, we are washed clean from all sins.  Second, we receive the Holy Spirit who divinizes us, making us sharers in the divine nature.  Third, we make a commitment, a promise or vow to renounce Satan and all his works. 

Why was Jesus baptized?  He did not need the first grace of Baptism, to be washed clean from sins, because he had no sins.  He did not need the second grace of Baptism, to become a partaker in God’s nature because he was already God.  But Jesus did share in the third grace of Baptism, by making a commitment, a promise to overthrow Satan by giving up his life to save us.  When Jesus was buried in the waters of the Jordan River it was a sign of his commitment to die for us, even by crucifixion; and when he rose from the waters it was a sign of his promise to raise us up with him in the resurrection to eternal divine life.

By our Baptismal vows we also make a commitment to Christ by renouncing Satan and sin for the sake of eternal happiness even at the cost of present sufferings. By keeping his baptismal commitment of suffering, death and resurrection Jesus shows us the importance of keeping our baptismal promises.