Jesus gets in line with the sinners on the banks of the Jordan, revealing in a definitive way that God is unequivocally “God with us,” that is, the Love that says to me: I am on your side. I am for you, in your favor. I am with you just as you are right now and I will accompany you. Indeed, I will precede you on the way, even if it be to hell.
Baptism is therefore the declaration of God’s love for me. It is the declaration of a Love that is there for me; that does not abandon me, no matter what happens around me or to me. It is a Love that nurtures the story of my life without being ashamed of it, because the Lord was not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters.
When John does not understand what is happening, Jesus replies, “Let it be so for now.” Jesus begs the Baptist, and each one of us, to not prevent him from staying close to us, from entering into the different ways in which we are dead–our tombs, our inner hells–because otherwise he cannot reach us so as to give us the Life that we need so desperately.
Consequently, it is advantageous for me, for each one of us, to allow Jesus to immerse himself in our various forms of isolation and in the darkest shadows of our lives.
When this happens, we will hear in our hearts the words of the Father: You are my beloved child. I love you for who you are and as you are. I love you no matter how great your sins and weaknesses. I am here to take care of you in your concrete condition. I have conquered death, and along with it the many types of death that you carry within you and have never been able to come to terms with.
From the book: Ogni storia è storia sacra by Paolo Scquizzato, FSP Editions 2019
From the cloud came a voice: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”