In today’s Gospel we don’t get a description of the baptism of Jesus. Luke simply tells us that, after his baptism, Jesus was praying and the Spirit came upon him as the Father spoke to him.
It is interesting to think about Jesus praying, and Luke clearly wants us to think about it a lot. Many times in his Gospel (much more often than the other evangelists do) he depicts Jesus as praying. It is as though Luke wants his readers to understand that, if Jesus prayed in order to know and do what his Father wanted, how much more should we?
We are disciples (the word means learners) and as disciples we learn from the Master. Sometimes our focus is very much on believing in Jesus but, as the late Fr Michel De Verteuil C.S.Sp. said, we also must learn to believe as Jesus believed, that is we must come to know the God he believed and trusted in.
The baptism marks the beginning of Jesus’s mission of proclaiming the good news to the poor. Our baptism does the same, a point that we can easily overlook because of the practice of infant baptism. Yet as Pope Francis keeps reminding us, our baptism makes us missionary disciples! And today’s gospel reminds us that it is a role that is entirely dependent on prayer and the gift of the Spirit.
Being people of prayer is how we learn to hear the voice of God calling us every day to live as his beloved sons and daughters.