In today’s Gospel Luke continues to speak about the activity of John the Baptist as he prepares the people to receive the Messiah. He asks them to straighten up their lives through repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. John the Baptist invites the people to be baptized in water as an expression of their conversion. However, people expected that the Anointed One (the Christ of Messiah) would appear soon and began to mistake John for the Messiah. For all the Gospel writers, however, John is not the Messiah. He is his forerunner and will give way to him when he comes. Before the Messiah, John does not even consider himself worthy to undo the straps of his sandals, a job reserved for the slave of the house. The baptism of John is with water while that of Jesus will be in the Spirit. John’s baptism is the expression of a radical conversion, a turning back to God, symbolized by an external ritual of washing in water and renouncing the evil past. As serious as such a step was, it was not yet a complete inner transformation. This would be possible only through the action of the Messiah himself, through a baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God himself. The Spirit will descend upon Jesus at his baptism and will lead him all along. This same Spirit will be given to the Apostles during their Pentecost experience, enabling them to be witnesses of Jesus to all the nations. It is that same Spirit that every Christian receives in baptism. In Jesus and through the subsequent Christian baptism in Jesus’ name, the inner transformation is so deep and the whole person completely won over to God that the person is really born to a new life in God’s family. Our priority then is to live our baptism as sons and daughters of God and as brothers and sisters of the same family.