Prepare for Sunday Mass: Why would Jesus, who was sinless, be baptized?

Each week in OSV Newsweekly, Carl Olson provides a thoughtful, relevant reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday in his "Opening the Word" column. The following is just an excerpt, but you can read the entire column here.

From Carl Olson:

The apostle Peter, having witnessed a startling vision of unclean animals descending from the opened heavens (Acts 10:10-16), was prompted by the Holy Spirit to meet with the God-fearing Gentile and centurion, Cornelius. This marked the growing awareness that the Gospel and the new covenant were meant for peoples of every nation.

Yes, Jesus had given the apostles the commission to go and “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19), but there was uncertainty, even great tension, regarding how all it would really work.

Peter admitted to Cornelius his recognition that “God shows no partiality” when it comes to Jews and Gentiles. He then gave a short summary of the Gospel, explaining that God had first proclaimed “peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,” to the Israelites, and he had “anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.” Jesus is the anointed one; in other words, he is the Messiah.

Read Olson's entire column to prepare for Sunday Mass.

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.