Newsletter- 2nd Week of Ordinary Time
At all our Sunday Masses this weekend there will be a Diocesan Second Collection as you leave church for The Sick and Retired Priests Fund. On the weekend 28th/29th January we will have a retiring collection for the work of SPUC and the White Flower Appeal 2023. The Society for the Protection of Unborn children (SPUC) are currently campaigning to protect Pro-Life speech. Pro-Life witness is being restricted now more than ever before; please be as generous as you can to help SPUC defend unborn babies and their mothers.
A reminder that from Wednesday 18th January we begin the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, which lasts until 25th January, the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. On Wednesday 18th January Mass will be celebrated in the morning at 9.30 am in our parish for the unity of all Christians. Churches Together in Grantham are planning a special service to be held on Sunday 22nd January, at St Anne’s Church, Grantham, at 6.30pm. Sadly this year I shall be unable to be there myself as I have a previous long-standing engagement that evening, but if you are free do consider going to support and join in prayer with the other Christian congregations from our town.
This Sunday we break from our reading of Matthew’s Gospel (the primary Gospel for our current liturgical cycle, Cycle A) to read from John’s Gospel. We heard Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism last Sunday, on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Today, we hear John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus as found in John’s Gospel. John’s Gospel differs from the other Gospels because John does not describe Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. Instead, John the Baptist announces that he knows that Jesus is the Son of God.
In today’s reading, John the Baptist sees Jesus approaching and cries out, giving witness about who Jesus is. In John’s testimony he says that he saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus. By this sign, John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the one who is to come after him.
John the Baptist uses two titles for Jesus that are familiar to us. John calls Jesus the “Lamb of God” and the “Son of God.” By using these titles, John the Baptist identifies Jesus’ ultimate purpose: to redeem sinful humanity. John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus clearly distinguishes John’s baptism from the Baptism that Jesus will inaugurate. John the Baptist’s sense of purpose is clearly identified in this reading: he baptised in order to prepare for and make known the ministry of the One who was to follow. John’s witness is an excellent example of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. By our Baptism, we too are called to make Jesus known to all the world by our words and by the witness of our lives in all the given situations of our daily lives.
With prayer and best wishes,
Your Parish Priest and friend,
2023 15th January– Newsletter – Download