Read Luke 3:1-20
“John answered them all, ‘I baptise you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”
John the Baptist was the last prophet of the Old Testament. The people were flocking to be baptised by him as a sign that they were responding to the call to renew their faith in God and to repent from the sin which separated them from Him. Yet this symbolic act of being immersed in the waters of the River Jordan was only a preparation. When the Lord Jesus came, He would ‘immerse us’ in the very life of the Trinity. How? Through his Death and Resurrection, the way was opened for the Lord to dwell within our hearts again. This is the essence of the Good News: “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:5-6). In our pilgrimage you will be able to renew your baptismal vows at the River Jordan, the same river where John baptised Jesus.
In Greek the word ‘baptizo’ means ‘to be dipped’ or ‘brought under the influence of.’ It was commonly used to describe the action of dipping a piece of cloth into a dye and changing its colour. In the same way, when we were baptised we were ‘dipped’ in the Holy Spirit and brought under His influence. We need to make sure we remain docile to Him who dwells within us.
Stop and think about the fact that through your baptism the Holy Spirit actually dwells in you.
“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace” (St Augustine).