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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Saturday after Epiphany

Gospel text (Jn 3,22-30): After this, Jesus went into the territory of Judea with his disciples. He stayed there with them and baptized. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim where water was plentiful; people came to him and were baptized (…). John answered: «(…)You yourselves are my witnesses that I said: ‘I am not the Christ but I have been sent before him (…). It is necessary that he increase but that I decrease».

John’s baptism, inception of the Christian Baptism

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, we can imagine the extraordinary impression that caused the figure and message of John the Baptist during the vibrant atmosphere of the time. The appearance that the Baptist carried with him was something totally new. At last there came a prophet whose life credited John as such, and again proclaimed God’s action in history: John baptizes with water but the Greatest - the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire – is about to arrive.

John’s baptism is different from the usual religious ablutions. It can’t be performed again and should bring a change to a new way of thinking and acting; it is linked mainly to the announcement of God’s judgment and from someone Greater who is about to come. You could say that it is a rebirth.

-All this will specifically take place only in the Christian baptismal theology, but it is already incepted with the immersion in the Jordan and then in leaving the waters.