|Mark Sanislo Catholic Artists
"Heaven's Call to the Family"
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An original painting by Mark Sanislo in a collaborated effort with the
World Apostolate of Fatima for the "Year of the Rosary" campaign.
The baptism of Our Lord in the River Jordan
by Fr. Robert J. Fox ( taken from Fatima Family Apostolate Marian Manual)
Dear Jesus, you are the innocent one, true God and true Man. St. Paul said “For our sakes God made him who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in him we might become the very holiness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus, you took all the sins of the world upon yourself, every
sin that ever had or would be committed. That day you subjected yourself to the baptism of repentance of John the Baptizer, you took every one of my personal sins upon yourself as well.
You would do penance, you would make reparation, you would satisfy to God, your Father and our Father, for the Justice He required to balance the relationship destroyed by sin between mankind and God, between each one of us and God.
Jesus Christ, you had no need of baptism, and the baptism of John in the Jordan did not take away sin in itself. It was not the sacrament of Baptism. But it did prepare people in heart and spirit for faith and dispositions of heart to be sorry and have faith in you Lord Jesus, so as to have sins forgiven by you in the Sacraments of your Church.
“When John the Baptizer made his appearance as a preacher in the desert of Judea, this was his theme: Reform you lives! The reign of God is at hand. . . . At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him. They were being
baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. When he saw that many of the Pharisees and Sadducees were stepping forward for this bath, he said to them: ‘You brood of vipers! Who told you to flee from the wrath to come? Give some evidence that you mean to reform.. . I” (Matt. 3:l-8).
Lord Jesus, when I approach your merciful and forgiving power in the Sacrament of Confession, I must confess my sins with genuine sorrow in my heart. 1 must have the desire to reform any sinful ways I have to he forgiven and then be worthy to receive you in Holy
Jesus, by living a life of holiness I must bear fruit unto eternal life and witness Jesus to others so that they come to you for forgiveness so as to be open to divine love and be living children of God. St. John the Baptizer said: “I baptize you in water for the sake of reform, but the one who will follow me is more powerful than I. I am not even fit to carry his sandals. He it is who will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt. 4:11-12).
Jesus, I can only try to imagine the humility of John when all those people were coming forth for his baptism which foreshadowed your baptism with the real power you have in order to take away all stain of sin and suddenly-there you stand before John to be baptized. You are the sinless one, the eternal Son of God become Man, who will redeem all mankind of all sin. You stand before John at the River Jordan to be baptized. John tried to refuse you with the protest, “I should be baptized by you, yet you come to me.” Lord Jesus, you answered:
“Give in for now. We must do this if we would fulfill all of God’s demands.” So John gave in.
Jesus, after you were baptized, you came directly out of the water. Suddenly the sky opened and there was seen the Spirit of God descend like a dove and hover over you. With that, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son. My favor rests on him” (Matt. 3:13-17).
Jesus, the Spirit descended to invest you with the mission which you were to carry out. You must teach and show the way to salvation. You must end your earthly life by a painful and bloody death on the Cross. Your baptism in the Jordan was a sign that you would take all sins upon yourself. You would suffer for all people. Your penance in life, above all your sacrifice in death, would through your holy Cross redeem the world.
If the baptism of John was a symbol of willingness to be sorry for sin and accept the Savior who was at hand, in the very midst of the people, the Sacrament of holy Baptism in your Church, 0 Lord, would have the power to wash away Original Sin inherited from our first
parents. Sacramental Baptism imprints the character of Jesus upon the soul for eternity. Baptism incorporates, each one into the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, giving sanctifying grace, and makes each one a new creation, a living child of God.
Prayer at end of decade: Lord Jesus, give me light to know and do the mission in my life to which God the Father has called me to live in holiness-so that the Father may say of me: “I am well pleased."