Baptism, the Catechism tells us, is a “nuptial mystery” (1617). It’s the sacrament through which Christ the Bridegroom gives his “imperishable seed” (1228) to his Church-Bride and she “brings forth sons … to a new and immortal life” (507). What light does Christ’s own baptism shine on this nuptial mystery? Through the Incarnation, God has espoused not just the human race, but all of creation, the very clay of the earth: “Your land shall be espoused” (Is 62:4). Did you know that the Jordan River Valley is actually the deepest valley on earth? In Christ’s Baptism, creation opens at her depths to receive her Creator; the heavenly Bridegroom “espouses” the earth to himself, filling (“impregnating”) her waters with the power to “bring forth sons to a new and immortal life.” How do we know the nuptials of heaven and earth were consummated in the Jordan? Yesterday’s Gospel says that at the moment Christ came up from the waters, “the heavens were opened” and the divine life (the Holy Spirit) “descended.” Oh glory! “Let the earth open that salvation may sprout forth” (Is 45:8). And we are that earth. Let us open to heaven, for heaven has been opened for us! Amen.