Baptism of Christ Cima da Conegliano.jpg“A voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Baptism in the Jordan returns to the great
Christmas theme of ‘Christification’, Jesus of Nazareth’s spiritual anointing,
His presentation as the Anointed One per excellence, the Messiah or the One
sent by the Father for the salvation of mankind. The Spirit that descended on Jesus shows and seals in an
incontrovertible way the ‘Christification’ of Jesus’ humanity that the Word had
already fulfilled from the first moment of His miraculous conception by
Mary. Jesus, from the very
beginning, was always the Lord’s Christ, He was always God. …the Baptism in the
Jordan presents yet another truth: that Jesus has started a new creation. He is the second man (1 Cor 15:47) or
the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45), that comes to repair the first Adam’s guilt.  He does this as the Lamb of God that
takes away our sins. ‘Looking at
the events in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people
realised what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon His
shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan.  He inaugurated his public activity by
stepping into the place of sinners.’ 
(Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, Bloomsbury 2007, p. 18)

Excerpt from the Letter from Cong. pro Clericus, 2011