In today’s feast we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus by John in the waters of the Jordan. Though He Himself had no stains to be washed away, He wished to submit Himself to this rite as he submitted Himself to the other requirements of the Law. As a human being He submitted Himself to the laws that ruled and governed the lives of the people of Israel who had been elected by God to prepare the way for the Redeemer. John the Baptist carried out energetically his mission to prophesy and arouse a great movement towards repentance as an immediate preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The Lord desired to be Baptised says St Augustine, so that He might freely proclaim through His humility what for us was to be a necessity. The Faith of the Church is that Baptism is necessary for salvation. By the simple rite of having water poured over us and with the formula of words, we have the guarantee from Christ that we become Children of God. On this feast we can give thanks for the grace of Baptism by which Original Sin is cleansed, we become members of the Catholic Church and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven. This Sunday afternoon there is the Annual Blessing of the recently Baptised Infants; an occasion when, with their parents and godparents we offer thanks for the grace of this Sacrament of Initiation and receive a token of Mary’s protection and help through the clothing with a Miraculous Medal.