Sunday, January 11, 2015

Feast of the BAPTISM of the LORD

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 

"Jesus comes out of the water, drawing the world with Him and raising it up when it had hitherto been sunk in the abyss... Here all is in perfect harmony, for the testimony comes from heaven, just as He to whom the Spirit bears witness has come down from heaven."- St Gregory Nazianzus

‘Looking at the events in light of the Cross and Resurrection, the Christian people realised what happened: Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon His shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan. He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners.’ - J Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, Bloomsbury 2007, p18

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The light from the Holy Spirit appears to be falling directly into the shell being used to pour the water of baptism over Jesus' head. Instead of dipping the shell into the river, the Baptist seems to be lifting up the shell to receive in its hollow, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Anointing from above.  Likewise, in its hollow, the chalice at Mass receives the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (Artist:  Andrea del Verrocchio)

"Today let us do honor to Christ's baptism
and celebrate this feast in holiness.
Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. 
Nothing gives such pleasure to God
as the conversion and salvation of men,
for whom His every word and every revelation exist."

St Gregory of Nazianzus
Second Reading, Office of Readings
for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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"Many of the incidents which accompanied Christ's baptism are symbolical of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ's baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His baptism Christ was proclaimed the "Beloved Son" of the Father; at our Baptism we become the adopted sons of God. At Christ's baptism the heavens were opened; at our Baptism heaven was opened to us. At His baptism Jesus prayed; after our Baptism we must pray to avoid actual sin." - Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas

"In Baptism we are consecrated by the Holy Spirit.  The word 'Christian' means this, consecrated like Jesus, in the same spirit in which Jesus was surrounded throughout His earthly existence. So, dear parents, dear godfathers and godmothers, if you want your children to become true Christians, help them grow 'immersed' in the Holy Spirit, that is, in the warmth of God's love, in the light of His Word. For this, do not forget to invoke often the Holy Spirit, every day."

 Pope Francis, 11 January 2015, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
He baptized 33 babies today in Rome at St Peter's Basilica

Breathe into me Holy Spirit, that all my thoughts may be holy. 
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. 
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.  Amen.

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