Sunday, January 10, 2021

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord ...

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 
This brings to an end the season of Christmas

"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 

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. 
Cf Mt 3:16-17 (Today's Entrance Antiphon)

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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

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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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