It has been often asked why Jesus who is God and is without sin would ask to be baptized. If baptism means repentance of sins as St. John the Baptist understood it, why would Jesus need to undergo this washing with water? The Church Fathers tell us that Jesus voluntarily underwent baptism by the Baptizer in order to bless and sanctify the waters of baptism. Jesus instituted the sacrament at the moment of His own baptism. By the purity and holiness of his sacred humanity and sacred divinity, the water that was poured over Our Savior's head was made holy and sacred.
Following the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit led Our Lord into the desert where He would be tempted by the devil for 40 days and nights. Then the Spirit brought Jesus back into Galilee where He would inaugurate His ministry of preaching, teaching and healing. What does this tell us about the sacrament of baptism. It tells us that Baptism is not a static sacrament, something that all Catholics have to do! It is a dynamic sacrament of salvation. Salvation doesn't just take place once and for all by the removal of original sin. It is a process that must be developed and nurtured, particularly by the parents of those children who are baptized. St. Paul reminds us very clearly, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." We are not "Once Saved, Always Saved." We are put on the road of salvation firmly by the sacrament of baptism, but we can easily wander off that road by our own human will. Salvation can be lost. Therefore, it is up to us to bear the fruit of the gift of faith given to us at Baptism. And, this gift must be nurtured and cared for by those who have the primary responsibility to teach their children - parents.