January 7 St. Raymond of Pennafort

Raymond of Pennafort was a Spanish Dominican friar in the 13th-century, who compiled a collection of canon laws that remained a major part of Church law until the 20th century. He is the patron saint of lawyers, especially canon lawyers.

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.

Collect

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 55:1-11

Thus says the Lord: Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come! Buy corn without money, and eat, and, at no cost, wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not bread, your wages on what fails to satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy. Pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will live. With you I will make an everlasting covenant out of the favours promised to David. See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples, a leader and a master of the nations. See, you will summon a nation you never knew, those unknown will come hurrying to you, for the sake of the Lord your God, of the Holy One of Israel who will glorify you. Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near. Let the wicked man abandon his way, the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him, to our God who is rich in forgiving; for my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, the heavens are as high above the earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts. Yes, as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

Canticle : Isaiah 12

R/With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

  1. Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
  2. Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples! Declare the greatness of his name.
  3. Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds; make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Second reading: 1 John 5:1-9

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten by God; and whoever loves the Father that begot him loves the child whom he begets. We can be sure that we love God’s children if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us; this is what loving God is – keeping his commandments; and his commandments are not difficult, because anyone who has been begotten by God has already overcome the world; this is the victory over the world – our faith. Who can overcome the world? Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God: Jesus Christ who came by water and blood, not with water only, but with water and blood; with the Spirit as another witness – since the Spirit is the truth – so that there are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and all three of them agree. We accept the testimony of human witnesses, but God’s testimony is much greater, and this is God’s testimony, given as evidence for his Son.

Gospel Acclamation : cf.Jn1:29

Alleluia, alleluia! John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said: This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Alleluia!

Gospel : Mark 1:7-11

In the course of his preaching, John the Baptist said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the straps of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’ It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. 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.

Reflection

The Feast of the Baptism of our Lord concludes the Christmas cycle and is at the same time the First Sunday of Ordinary Time in Liturgical Year B.  This Sunday begins a series of Sundays that speak of the early ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus, who had no sin, still received baptism as a way of consecrating himself for his mission on earth. At his baptism, the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove, and the Father’s voice from heaven acclaims him as his beloved Son with whom he is well pleased.  This echoes the first reading, where some 700 years before Christ, Isaiah announced to the people the coming of the chosen one on whom the Spirit of God would rest.  Fortified by God’s Spirit, this servant of God would bring salvation to the nations. This prophecy found fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, son of David, who brings true peace and justice to all men and women of good will. As Jesus’ baptism marks the beginning of his divine ministry, so too our own baptism marks the beginning of a new life, a life of love and service. We pray to the Holy Spirit to fortify our faith that we may remain faithful to our baptismal promises.

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