Sunday, January 10, 2016

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 

‘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

"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

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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: Domenico Tintoretto)

"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.
He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, 
lights shining in the world.
You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light,
bathed in the glory of Him who is the light of heaven."
St Gregory of Nazianzus
Excerpts from: Second Reading, Office of Readings
for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Pope Francis baptized 26 babies today in Rome at St Peter's Basilica

"The Holy Spirit is the principle architect in Christian Baptism, He is the One that burns and destroys original sin, restoring the beauty of divine grace.  He is the One who delivers us from the dominion of darkness, that is, of sin, and transports us into the realm of light, that is love, truth and peace.  This is the light. Think of what dignity Baptism lifts us to!"

 Pope Francis
10 January 2016, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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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