The Christmas season in the country liturgically ends Sunday, Jan. 9, with the Roman Catholic Church’s observance of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Baptism of the Lord (Manila Bulletin file)

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by His cousin Saint John the Baptist, at a time when all those living in Jerusalem, Judea, and the whole region around Jordan were having themselves baptized.

At the Vatican, it has become customary for the Holy Father to hold mass and baptize babies in the Sistine Chapel, a tradition that was initiated by Saint John Paul II.

Church officials encourage the faithful “to remember the date of their own baptism when the spiritual gifts of faith, hope, and love as children of God partaking in His divine plan were bestowed upon them and the mission to spread the Word of God began.”

“Jesus’ baptism celebrates His second manifestation as the Son of God (Epiphany), as well as the manifestation of the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (Theophany). It reminds the faithful that all humanity is called to share in the life of God revealed in Christ through faith and baptism and of their rebirth as children of God in baptism,” Church leaders said.

Based on tradition, Jesus was baptized by His cousin, St. John the Baptist, in the Jordan River when Jesus was about 30-years-old. He began His public ministry thereafter.

Aside from the Catholic Church, the feast is also celebrated in the Anglican and Lutheran Churches. (Christina I. Hermoso)

Source: Manila Bulletin (