|Rachel O’Grady ‘18
Right away, the thing that catches my attention about this gospel is simple: Jesus is asking to be baptized. Jesus, the Son of God, is asking John to baptize him. Obviously, I am not the only one who feels like this is crazy – John echoes the sentiment in today’s reading when he says, “I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.”
With apologies to every theology teacher and professor I’ve ever had, the first thing this made me think of is a Beatles song. As it turns out, Jesus also needed a little help from his friends – in this case, John (the Baptist, not Lennon). Thanks to eighteen years of Catholic school, I remember that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. Here, he is demonstrating his humanity and his obedience to the Father. He, too, needs to receive God’s love, in this case through baptism. I think this is so poignant – I’m obviously not Jesus and mess up constantly, so my need for God’s love is overwhelming.
Even Jesus needs to receive God’s love, and he is willing to ask for help with it. So, who am I to not ask for help in receiving God’s love – from my family, my friends, priests, mentors in faith, and so on? While the heavens might not open for God to tell me that he’s “well pleased” with me, it’s good to know that even Jesus needed to get by with a little help from his friends.