Showing posts with label Baptism of Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baptism of Jesus. Show all posts

8 Jan 2018

Baptism of the Lord Marks Endings, Beginnings


Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, with the Gospel reading from Mark 1:7-11. This occasion introduces Jesus to the world as the Son of God – pretty dramatic entrance to the world stage, wouldn’t you say? This passage catches your attention. The Baptism of the Lord is a really big day for three reasons. It marks the end of:

  1. The Christmas season, and the beginning of Ordinary Time.
  2. Jesus’ private life and the beginning of His ministry.
  3. Our separation from God and the beginning of an open line of communication between heaven and earth. 1 We see the physical manifestation of that claim with multiple people hearing the voice of God the Father, when He states, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).

Baptism Marks an Ending and a Beginning


Endings and beginnings remind us of our own baptisms where we died with Christ and became adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Our baptisms... Read more...

5 Jan 2018

'The seed of eternal life.' Sunday Reflections, The Baptism of the Lord, Year B


Baptistry, St Mark's, Venice [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Mark 1:7-11 (NRSV, Anglicised CatholicEdition)

John the Baptist proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

In countries where the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated this year on Monday 8 January, eg the Philippines and the USA, there is only one reading before the Gospel and the Creed is omitted.
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 2013
FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
MASS AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Sistine Chapel, Sunday, 8 January 2012
[I have highlighted parts of the Pope's homily]
Continue here.

9 Jan 2017

Baptism of the Lord - A Day to Remember God's Love


Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. This day marks the end of Jesus’ private life and the beginning of His public ministry. On the River Jordan, Jesus allowed Himself to be baptized with water by Saint John the Baptist. As Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, hovering over Jesus’ head, with the Father’s voice resounding “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). God the Father makes this declarative statement, clearly articulating that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The second half of the commentary is an expression of the Father’s love for His Son. Jesus is Our God, and He is loved by the Father in union with the Holy Spirit – Trinitarian Love expressed at the Baptism of Our Lord.

Correlation to Our Own Baptism


We experienced that same Trinitarian love when we were baptized. The Father... Read more... 

10 Jan 2016

'You are my Son, the Beloved.' Sunday Reflections. The Baptism of the Lord, Year C

The Baptism of Christ, El Greco, 1596-1600 
Gospel Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada)

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

A friend of my brother was asked about 25 years ago if he would mind playing a round of golf on a course near Belfast with a visitor from the European Continent. He agreed and the visitor was introduced as 'Monsieur So-and-so'. Naturally, the two men got chatting and the Irishman asked his companion, 'What do you do for a living?' 'Monsieur So-and-so' smiled and said, 'I'm the King of the Belgians'. It was indeed the late King Baudouin.

King Baudouin, a saintly man, often travelled incognito, as Leo Cardinal Suenens, the late Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, tells in his biography of the King, Baudouin, King of the Belgians, The Hidden Life. They sometimes went on pilgrimage to Lourdes together, the King driving. On one such occasion, the Cardinal recalled, they passed a wayside shrine of the Blessed Mother that had been vandalized. King Baudouin stopped the car and fixed the shrine.

Full post here.

9 Jan 2015

'Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.' Sunday Reflections, The Baptism of the Lord, Year B

The Baptism of Christ (detail), Tintoretto, 1579-81
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
http://www.universalis.com/20150111/mass.htm
John the Baptist proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;with you I am well pleased.”

The Census at BethlehemPieter Bruegel the Elder, 1566
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels [Web Gallery of Art]






Two weeks ago, on the Feast of the Holy Family, I celebrated Mass in Holy Family Home for Girls here in Bacolod City. At the beginning of my homily I asked a number of the girls to look at a copy of the painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder above and to point out the Holy Family in it. None of them could find Mary and Joseph, just as none of the figures in the painting notices the young woman on the donkey and the man leading it. Full post here.

10 Jan 2014

'This is my beloved Son . . .' Sunday Reflections, The Baptism of the Lord, Year A


The Baptism of Christ, El Greco, painted 1608-28 [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Gospel Matthew 3:13-17 (New RevisedStandard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented.  And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”


Today's Feast of the Baptism of the Lord brings the liturgical season of Christmas to an end. My edition of The Divine Office suggests the hymn above, Of the Father's Love Begotten (Divinum Mysterium),  as one that may be sung today.

'I baptise you in the name of the Father . . .' 28 December 2011

A Columban confrere, Fr Peter Steen, who died in Ireland in May 2009 at the age of 84 just a couple of weeks after leaving the Philippines, spoke to me a number of times, as I recall, about paintings of the baptism of Jesus. Many of them show only Jesus and his cousin, St John the Baptist. He thought that these were very inaccurate. Jesus lined up with others. St Luke's account specifically says When all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying (3:21).

Full post here.

13 Jan 2013

Today's Two-Fer: Baptism of the Lord and a Confirmation Commitment

"The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed himself but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of baptism. Whoever comes, therefore, to the washing of Christ lays aside his sins" St. Ambrose of Milan

This morning we all went to the 9 a.m. Mass, an early one for us. Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the day in which the Church commemorates the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Today was also the day where several eighth graders in our parish, including our son, participated in a Confirmation Commitment ceremony during Mass. Since Confirmation seals the sacrament of Baptism, the timing could not have been better.


Read more here...

11 Jan 2013

'Thou art my beloved Son.' Sunday Reflections, Baptism of the Lord, Year C


Baptism of Christ, El Greco, painted 1596-1600 (Web Gallery of Art)

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

Gospel Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased." 

Full post here.

Remembering Wisdom

I'm a Christian. So why, one might ask, am I not denouncing something most folks enjoy: like demon rum or Bingo? Or playing the Grinch...