School life moves at a pace, so it is easy to put the Christmas season behind us. This week Year 11 students have another mock English exam, we have also had school photographs for some students and flu vaccines for others. At the end of the week a number of youngsters will go dry slope skiing in preparation for the trip over February half term. You begin to get a sense of how the school moves on.
In the Catholic Church’s calendar the Christmas season does not finish until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Word of God dwells among us. In Jesus’ baptism in the river Jordan by John, we see and hear something amazing; a human being is the Son of God. I always think it slightly odd that Jesus goes to be baptiesd by John. It’s a baptism of repentance, but he has nothing to repent of since he is God. John recognises this and says, ‘It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come to me!’ Jesus is not baptised for himself, but for us. In entering the waters of repentance, Jesus shoulders our burdens and takes our lives to himself.
This is the great gift of baptism, not that we make ourselves children of God, but that through the free gift of union with Jesus Christ, God makes us his children.