The Baptism of Jesus

A Reflection From Fr. Gerry

 

I mentioned in a homily some years ago that the most baptisms I had done in one day was 82. It was in Africa and in the first year of my priesthood. The oldest was about 70 but most were under the age of 5. After about two minutes into the service the crying started so much so, that I could hardly hear myself. Anyway, the Holy Spirit go me through as he has so often since then.

Todays Gospel is rather brief but upon reflection it poses two important questions namely, why was Jesus baptized? Why do we need baptism? First of all, Jesus did not need baptism because along with being human he was also divine. We know that he attached great significance to this event for a number of reasons, (1) he wanted to raise John’s baptism to a new level and so we see God the Father setting his seal on it by sending the Holy Spirit. So, we see all 3 persons of the Trinity involved. (2) He wanted to establish his solidarity with a sinful humanity, in other words, he wanted to involve himself in our worst, in order to bring out our best. (3) He was giving us an example of humility which, of course, we see reflected throughout his life. (4) This is where he received his mission and so his public life began.

So why do we receive baptism? In each one of us there is potential for Christlikeness and that potential is given to us at baptism. There has always been much discussion as to whether baptism should be given at infancy or at adulthood and there are good arguments for both. However, it has been our faith tradition that it be given in infancy. The reason being, that we look on baptism as a seed that is sown and like all seeds it takes a long, long time to grow, to develop, to ripen. Speaking for myself, I have to admit that I still have a long way to go and I have been around a long time.

When Jesus was baptized, a voice came from Heaven that said, “You are my beloved son on whom I am well pleased.” We have no problem in believing that about Christ, but we often forget that he says the very same words to us at our baptism, “You are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter.” So, it is important that we look on baptism as a gift, just as we look on the other sacraments as gifts, just as we look on life as a gift, on grace as a gift, forgiveness as a gift. Let me conclude by saying that baptism is the gift that sets the tone for becoming the kind of people that God wants us to be.

May God go with you.

 

 

READINGS FOR JANUARY 10, 2021

 

1st Reading—Isaiah 55: 1-11—“All who are thirsty, come to the water!…I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.”

Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12: 2-3, 4bcd, 5-6—“With joy you shall draw water from the springs of endless life; with joy you shall draw water from the living well of God.”

2nd Reading—1 John 5: 1-9—The Spirit, the water and the blood all testify, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came through water and blood. The Spirit is truth.

Alleluia—“Alleluia! John saw Jesus approaching him, and said: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Alleluia!”

Gospel—Mark 1: 7-11—When John baptized Jesus, the sky opened and the Spirit descended like a dove. A heavenly voice said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

 

The Christmas Season draws to a close today with the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.   As we remember Jesus’ baptismal bath, we draw near to the mystery of God’s love for each of us revealed through our own baptism.  We are beloved daughters and sons of God, chosen to walk in the way of Jesus.

 

 

 JANUARY 10, 2021

PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL

1) Let us pray for the Church:

God, you anointed Jesus with spirit and power at his baptism.

Uphold your servant, the Church, and fill all the baptized with the

grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

 

2) Let us pray for hope in our nation and our cities:

Be a light for all the nations, loving God, and inspire our civil leaders.

Establish your justice on the earth and help us respect every person.

May our nation find the path to peace.  Keep all military personnel in your loving care.

         

3) Let us pray for the broken-hearted and the oppressed:

Open the eyes of the blind and bring prisoners to freedom.

May all who live in the darkness of grief or failure come to know the  saving power of God.

 

4) Let us pray for the sick:

Send your healing Spirit upon our ailing members and friends —

and upon all who have asked for our prayers.  Pam & Mike Allen

Tony & Betty Morici      Elena Perea           Rod Mersino

Florence Mishler   John Benvenuti     Bob Pawluk     Don Schaefer

Lillian Jawlik        Robert Frazer        Steve Tunk

Tom Rogan           Jackie Nowicki     Rob Zurdus           Robin Kennedy

 

5) Let us remember the dead:

Welcome our beloved as your own sons and daughters.  Embrace them with eternal life, especially –

(5:00 Mass) Bob Henley, John & Penelope Ohab

(8:30 Mass) Deacon Tom Yezak

(10:30 Mass) Mary Hewitt

 

6) Let us pray for our personal needs in a moment of silence: 

Be with our adult members preparing for the profession of faith and baptism.  May the Baptism of each little child remind us of the precious gift of life which God places in our hands.

We pray to the Lord…

 

 ANNOUNCEMENTS – January 10, 2021

 

  1. St. Anne and St. Daniel’s are working together to make a difference in the lives of others. They are hosting a Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King day, on Saturday, January 16th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. here at St. Anne’s. We will be collecting personal care items, stuffed animals and games and fleece blankets for the animal shelter. For more information please call Kim Zernec.

 

  1. Again, we invite you to please take home a beautiful poinsettia, please take the ones in the gathering area first.