Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
For most of us the Christmas season ended a couple of weeks ago. Decorations are packed away, and some of the kids’ toys are already broken. We’re into a new year, and trying to reconstruct a daily routine.
But liturgically the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord marks the end of the Christmas season and the transition to “Ordinary Time.” Matthew’s simple account of the baptism today ends with the heavenly voice introducing “my beloved Son.” Recalling his coming—which we’ve celebrated in the Christmas season—we’re invited to welcome the Beloved One into our midst once more. As a community we will pledge ourselves—through each Sunday celebration which follows—to listen and respond to Christ’s proclamation of the Good News.
You’ve probably heard people express the wish that the spirit of Christmas would last all through the year. Christians really are called to take that responsibility seriously. The meaning of Christmas is the central fact of our lives—we must reflect the fact that God has come to dwell with us in Jesus Christ. It can show on our faces, in our words, and in what we do. If you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution here’s a simple one: let all that we say and do manifest that basic truth that God is with us. And Merry Christmas, one more time!
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• The first reading (Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7) gives God’s message about his servant. Who is that servant and what are the many good things that the servant will do?
Could that servant of God be Jesus?
• Peter speaks to the people in the house of Cornelius in the second reading (10:34-38) from Acts. What is the main point of his message?
How does what happened to Peter lead him to say, “I see that God shows no partiality.”
• What did Jesus want from John the Baptist, according to this week's Gospel?
How did John feel about baptizing Jesus? What did he say to Jesus?
When John finally baptized Jesus, what happened?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Water is an important part of the Sacrament of Baptism. It is also an important part of our daily lives. This week, try to drink more water—which is good for your health—and also take care not to waste water by doing things such as turning off the sink while you are brushing your teeth.
• Learn more about the Sacrament of Baptism here.