Fr. John Ehrich Podcast

How To and Why Forgive - Baptism Of The Lord

January 12, 2020

We hear about another manifestation of who Jesus is in today’s readings. We see Jesus being baptized with the entire Trinity being revealed in the voice of God and the appearance of the dove as the presence of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist explains this baptism as an act of repentance. And yet, even though Jesus does not need to repent, He still exemplifies for us the gift and sacrament of baptism; and as salvation history unfolds, He takes responsibility for all acts of repentance. This is a huge bit of truth. God did not enter into our story to just teach, to heal or to model morality. His existed for the sake of forgiveness and reconciliation with God our Father.

How can we ourselves be brought back to God in reconciliation? As baptized, transformed and adopted children of God, we can become like Jesus in his mission by forgiving and understanding one another. Everyone has or has been challenged to forgive someone in their life. It is not always easy to do. However when we do not forgive, it can be toxic and self-damaging. We must be aware that forgiveness is not about admission of wrongs, but letting go of the things we cannot control - and there’s great benefit and blessing in acknowledging a greater truth and love amidst great pain and hurt. There is real freedom in forgiving each other. Once we seek to know one another’s stories, and why there might be hurt or wounded actions, we can better pray for them as we seek to forgive them. Let us constantly look to Jesus to receive an understanding and merciful heart.