Newsletter- 1st Week of Ordinary Time
This weekend we keep the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord which marks the end of the liturgical season of Christmas. But what is this moment of Jesus being baptised by John in the river Jordan really all about?
The Baptism of Jesus is part of His epiphany which we celebrated last Friday, when Jesus comes out of obscurity into the spotlight. Before His Baptism, Jesus was largely unknown. Then He came one day to the banks of the Jordan River to be baptised by John. John announced Him as the Messiah. John’s Baptism was a baptism of repentance. Jesus had no need of that, of course, but the people gathered with him that day did. At His baptism Jesus took upon Himself all our burdens and sins and many human failures. His baptism is a symbol of what His work on earth is all about. At His baptism Jesus showed solidarity with all of us who need healing, mercy, and forgiveness. He became like us, in all things except sin, so we could become like Him. Jesus’ Baptism was the beginning of His public ministry as he identifies Himself with all of humanity. Jesus’ Baptism at the Jordan was not a private moment of revelation and blessing but a public commissioning to his important work of redemption.
Today as we remember the baptism of Jesus, His public embrace of His mission from the Father, and his solidarity with each of us let us also recall our own baptism too, when the Holy Spirit descended upon us, and we were commissioned to do God’s healing work. Let us recommit ourselves to our own baptismal call, however long ago our baptism might have been! That call is still there, indelible, irrevocable, unerasable, and irreversible. In the sight of God, it remains the deepest truth of our lives. If that mission of our baptism has lain dormant, this year is a good time to bring it back to life. It is always there, ready to spring back to life all we need to do is to allow God’s grace to work in us and through us and seek the ways that we can live out more fully our baptismal vocation in the ordinary situations of our daily lives, as we seek to become more fully His modern-day disciples in the world in which we live. Whatever else may come and go in our lives, the commission to do the work of Christ lasts as long as we do! May our resolution for this coming year be that as a parish community and as individual members of the Church too we may all become more alive and active in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This Sunday we welcome our new group of First Holy Communion candidates to Mass with their families, at the start of the 2023 First Holy Communion Preparation Course. Please keep our young people and their families and our parish catechists in your prayers at this time, as together they begin to prepare for this important step in their journey of faith.
With prayer and best wishes,
Your parish priest and friend,
2023 8th January– Newsletter – Download