In reflecting on Baptism in Jordan, Pope Francis notes Our Lord’s solidarity with sinful humanity
Just after baptizing 32 infants in the Sistine Chapel and calling baptism an “act of righteousness” or justice for children, Pope Francis reflected on this description of baptism given by Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel. This section of the Gospel was the Sunday reading for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and the pope’s comments came before the praying of the midday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square.
When John protests at Jesus’ wish to be baptized, knowing that the all-pure Christ needed no turning from sin, Jesus replied to his cousin: “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
Jesus’ ways are “unpredictable,” the Holy Father reflected, adding that Jesus has come to bridge the distance between God and man.
“If Jesus is completely on God’s side, He is also completely on humanity’s side,” and that’s why he gives this response to John, the pope said. “That is, He fulfills the Father’s plan which comes by way of filial obedience and solidarity with a frail and sinful humanity. It is the path of humility and of the closeness of God to His children.”