BAPTISM OF THE LORD
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Mt 3: 16-17
After the Lord was baptized, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and the voice of the Father thundered: This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.
Almighty ever-living God, who, when Christ had been baptized in the River Jordan and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him, solemnly declared him your beloved Son, grant that your children by adoption, reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, may always be well pleasing to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Isaiah 42:1-4. 6-7
Thus says the Lord: Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations. He does not cry out or shout aloud, or make his voice heard in the streets. He does not break the crushed reed, nor quench the wavering flame. Faithfully he brings true justice; he will neither waver, nor be crushed until true justice is established on earth for the islands are awaiting his law. I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right; I have taken you by the hand and formed you; I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness f rom the dungeon
Psalm 28 (29) :1-4,9-10
R/ The Lord will bless his people with peace.
- O give the Lord, you sons of God, give the Lord glory and power; give the Lord the glory of his name. Adore the Lord in his holy court.
- The Lord’s voice resounding on the waters, the Lord on the immensity of waters; the voice of the Lord, full of power, the voice of the Lord, full of splendour.
- The God of glory thunders. In his temple they all cry: ‘Glory!’ The Lord sat enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits as king for ever.
Second reading: Acts 10:34-38
Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘The truth I have now come to realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him. ‘It is true, God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ – but Jesus Christ is Lord of all men. You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.
Gospel Acclamation : cf.Lk3:16
Alleluia, alleluia!Someone is coming, said John, someone greater than I. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 3:15-16,21-22
A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Now when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept, O Lord, the offerings we have brought to honour the revealing of your beloved Son,so that the oblation of your faithful may be transformed into the sacrifice of him who willed in his compassion to wash away the sins of the world. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Communion Antiphon : Jn 1: 32, 34
Behold the One of whom John said: I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished with these sacred gifts, we humbly entreat your mercy, O Lord, that, faithfully listening to your Only Begotten Son, we may be your children in name and in truth. Through Christ our Lord.
Those baptised as infants or young children at times tend to forget the significance of this event. Celebrating the baptism of Jesus gives us an opportunity to reflect on what it means for us to be baptised. Four aspects of Jesus’ baptism can help us to discover the meaning of this sacrament. Firstly, the baptism Jesus received was a baptism of conversion for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus did not need conversion, but accepted this baptism in order to identify himself with sinful humanity, which he had come to save. Secondly, when Jesus was baptised, the Holy Spirit descended on him. Thirdly, the Father’s voice identified him as his Son. And fourthly, after his baptism, Jesus began his work of preaching the Gospel and healing people. These four elements tell us that through baptism, we have been cleansed from sin, we have received the Holy Spirit, we have become children of God, and we have become servants of God who are supposed to preach his Word and extend his love to those around us. Are we living like children of God? Have we eradicated sin from our lives? Do we let God’s Spirit guide our actions? Are we bearing witness to Christ in the world? May Jesus help us to be faithful to our baptismal promises.