Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (3: 13-17) in which Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John, who tries to dissuade him, saying, “It is I who need baptism from you, and, yet, you come to me?”Fr Paul says the account of the baptism of Jesus in Mark, the earliest gospel, is also the simplest. In Mark, the voice from heaven is addressed to Jesus himself, and there is no sign that others heard it; it is an experience of Jesus: ‘You are my Son’. In Matthew’s Gospel which we hear today, however, the voice is addressed to the bystanders, that is, to us: ‘This is my Son, the beloved’. This takes the private revelation of Mark into the public arena; this is a declaration that Jesus’ work is about to begin. Matthew’s Gospel also records the little dialogue at the beginning expressing John’s unwillingness to baptise Jesus. Why should Jesus enter into the community of repentance which John was forming? Jesus wasn’t a sinner! However, it was a gesture that Jesus was entering fully into the condition of all humanity. He shared fully in our human nature, the nature of a fallen humanity. At the outset of his ministry he shows us this, so that he could he redeem the fallen human race. Jesus is not merely passive, for he himself joins with John in making the positive step: ‘We must do all that righteousness demands’.In the same way our baptism is in the public arena, a declaration that we are committed to Christ and his Church – even if we were too young to remember our baptism! In closing, Fr Paul notes today’s Gospel Lesson – we should never be afraid to live out our baptism in public.