Maximus of Turin, one of the Church Fathers, so marvelously noted this connection long ago,
“Today, then [in Jesus’ baptism], is another kind of birth of the Savior. We see him born with the same sort of signs, the same sort of wonders, but with greater mystery. The Holy Spirit, who was present to him then in the womb, now pours out upon him in the torrent. He who then purified Mary for him now sanctifies the running waters for him. The Father who then overshadowed in power now cries out with his voice. He who then, as if choosing the more prudent course, manifested himself as a cloud at the nativity now bears witness to the truth. So God says, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear him.’ Clearly the second birth is more excellent than the first. The one brought forth Christ in silence and without a witness. The other baptized the Lord gloriously with a profession of divinity. From the one, Joseph, thought to be the father, absents himself. At the other, God the Father, not believed in, manifests himself. In the one the mother labors under suspicion because in her condition she lacked a father. In the other she is honored because God attests to his Son.”
It is in His baptism, as the heavens open and Jesus stands in the waters of the Jordan River while the Holy Spirit descends upon Him (a Trinitarian reference to the Godhead - Father, Son and Holy Spirit), that we see the whole of His ministry. Jesus would open the way to heaven to us through the waters of baptism as we are reunited to God. We, through the waters of baptism, are made adopted sons and daughters of God as the Holy Spirit then resides in us. And from this moment on, which officially begins Jesus earthly ministry, He reconciles every person that He comes in contact with back to God. Each healing, restored relationship, or deliverance points to the reconciliation Jesus extends to us all upon the cross.
So this Sunday we rejoice in an annual reminder of what Jesus stepped into the world to do. As we walk in the way of the cross and the pattern of the Church Year, we are called to renew our lives to Jesus as we do so in the renewal of our baptismal vows this Sunday. But the call, doesn’t just reside with us, but should go forth with us. But a little more about this this Sunday morning!