Here is part of today’s Gospel, from St John: ‘And John bore witness, “I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptise with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”’

St Augustine wrote: ‘And was it needful for the Lord to be baptised? I instantly reply to anyone who asks this question: Was it needful for the Lord to be born? Was it needful for the Lord to be crucified? Was it needful for the Lord to die? Was it needful for the Lord to be buried? If He undertook for us so great humiliation, might He not also receive baptism?’

Today the sinless One takes sin upon Himself; is baptised with a baptism of repentance which He did not need. Let us praise Him for this great grace; and may God bless you in your own journey this day.