Fr. Kaimann gives Lenten meditation on Jesus’s Baptism, time in the desert


Jesus’s 40 days in the dessert cannot be fully understood without considering His Baptism in the River Jordan that preceded His public ministry.

“At the Baptism of Jesus, three things were proclaimed: His identity, His mission and His ultimate goal,” stated Father Gerald Kaimann.

Fr. Kaimann, a retired priest of the diocese who lives in Palmyra, gave the meditation at the Palmyra Area Ministerial Alliance’s noon Lenten Devotion on March 30.

St. Joseph Parish in Palmyra hosted the event.

In the Biblical narratives of Jesus’s Baptism (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22 and John 1:29-34), the Father publicly affirms Jesus’s identity.

“Namely: ‘This is My beloved Son,’” Fr. Kaimann quoted.

“His mission: to be the model of God’s love for us even to dying on the cross, and His ultimate goal: that we might all be with Him in Heaven,” the priest noted.

Likewise, Christians receive an identity, a mission and a goal at Baptism.

“God claims us as His own son or daughter giving us great dignity,” said Fr. Kaimann.

He noted that it’s one thing to be given an identity, a mission and a goal, “but it’s quite another thing to accept it and live it out.”

While Jesus was fasting and praying for 40 days in the desert (Luke 4:1-13), the devil tempted Him to take shortcuts, go the easy way and forego His reason for fully entering the human experience.

“Jesus, being like us, was tempted to not live out His identity and His mission,” said Fr. Kaimann.

The priest noted that people tend to live out who they see themselves to be, “so it’s terribly important to believe in the dignity that God has given us.”

“We have the same mission as Jesus: to be a model of God’s love for us in loving others as He has loved us,” said Fr. Kaimann. “We are so often tempted to not live out that dignity in our lives.”

The final goal is to spend all eternity with God in heaven.

Fr. Kaimann closed his talk with a challenge: “Do we desire that everyone go to heaven?”