Matthew 3:13-17 NRSVue

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw God’s Spirit descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from the heavens said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

This is one of the three times that the Father speaks to us in the Gospel story. Here it is to acknowledge that Jesus is his beloved, the one he loves with a passion. During the first millennium this came to be the way Christians saw themselves, especially as they realised the meaning of Jesus’ words, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love” (John 15:9).

If you would like to ponder this prayerfully, quieten yourself for a short while by relaxing your body. Then listen to the Father call you his beloved a few times and when you have savoured his words, tell him how you feel about this.