Jesus’ baptism was a great deal for Him and for all humanity. It launched Him on to His ministry. Indeed it was an empowerment for the great task ahead. In the waters of the River Jordan, as He was being baptized by John, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon Him, as He would later on announce in the Synagogue of Jerusalem. His baptism was a confirmation of His vocation to heal, to liberate and to announce the Lord’s year of favor. His baptism and empowerment signaled, above all, a victory of justice, of mercy, of compassion and of love. His awareness of and commitment to His ministry was so acute and so consummate that he called it His ‘meat’. No word could have been more appropriate and so adequate in capturing Jesus’ immersion into this self-sacrificing ministry. It goes to show how, although this ministry brought exhaustion to His body, it brought nourishment to his soul. No wonder it was His ‘meat’. Jesus’ baptism goes to show what high premium that is placed on each of our baptisms. It is a call for each and every one of us to become a voice in defense of justice, hearts that feel the pains of others, eyes that see the good in people and in nature, and ears that rejoice over the good fortunes of other people. Jesus’ baptism reminds us of our own baptismal promises to reject sin and to embrace goodness. As we begin this New Year, guided by the star of Jesus, it is time to ask ourselves: Are we living true to our Christian commitment, our baptismal vows? If not, what can we do to respond adequately to our vocation to goodness? Our prayer today is that this great feast may help to reactivate our baptismal unction, enabling us to become, like Christ, pillars of faith, beacons of hope and champions of love, Amen.