Dear Friends. Here is the third installment of Fr. Michael Belinsky’s exposition on our stained glass windows. Enjoy! Fr. Pat
West Wall: “The Baptism of Jesus” (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22)
As you enter the church and go beyond the baptismal font, this window is the second one on the left. It’s an image of great illumination.
The full image is that of Jesus, clothed in white, standing in the Jordan River. John the Baptist, robed in a shirt of camel’s hair and a red cloak, pours water over the bowed head of our Lord from a clamshell. John holds a staff, topped with a small cross and an unfurled banner with the Latin phrase: “Ecce Agnus Dei” (“Behold, the Lamb of God”) (John 2:29). Above Jesus and to his left is a white dove. Both the dove and our Lord have a 3-ray nimbus (halo with a cross); since both are members of the Trinity, the nimbus distinguishes their divinity. At the feet of John and Jesus are lush cattails, finding life-giving water from the flowing river.
Anchoring the entire scene are the words: “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 2:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22)
Here, Jesus submits to John and baptism, not so that he may receive the forgiveness of sin – he has none. Rather, he enters the water to make them holy so that all people, baptized by water, will share the fullness of the Spirit and enter into the Paschal Mystery (Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus).
Upper left – a 5-pointed star, with multiple rays of light behind it and from which descend three large rays, is known the Epiphany Star. Its abundant light – star, sun, rays – convey to us the divinity of Jesus. He took on our human flesh in order to give us a share in his divine life.
Lower left – lush cattail which thrives near water. We, too, gain life by our immersion into the waters of life at Baptism.
Lower right – a stone font, a receptacle for baptism. On it is etched a cross and above it are rays of light from the sun. The Sun of Justice, Jesus, who gave his life on the cross shares with us that mystery in the waters of the font.
Upper right – a clamshell with three drops of water. The shell represents the Lord’s baptism as well as ours. The three drops of water: the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit through which people are made into Christian.