The baptism of Jesus reminds us of our identity. It reminds us of who we are and whose we are. By Baptism we become sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, members of his Church, heirs of Heaven and temples of the Holy Spirit.

A tiger cub finds its identity: There is an old Hindu parable about a tiger cub raised by goats. The cub learned to bleat and nibble grass and behave like a goat. One night a tiger attacked the goats, which scattered for safety. But the tiger cub kept grazing and crying like a goat without getting frightened.

The old tiger roared, “What are you doing here, living with these cowardly goats?” He grabbed the cub by the scruff, dragged him to a pond and said: “Look how our faces are reflected in water! Now you know who you are and whose you are.” The tiger took the cub home, taught him how to catch animals, eat their meat, roar and act like a tiger. The tiger cub thus discovered his true self.

Today’s Gospel seems to suggest that Jesus received from Heaven a fresh flash of realization of Who, and Whose, He really was (His identity), and of what He was supposed to do (His mission), on the day of his baptism in the river Jordan.

Father Joseph Dovari