This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
It’s a cliché, but true, that to finish well depends on making a “good beginning.”
A month or so ago we heard “the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” proclaimed on the Second Sunday of Advent. Those words sound like a title—and, in a way, they are Mark’s “title” for his Gospel. All that will follow—from Christ’s Baptism to the announcement that he is risen—is, for Mark, the “beginning” of the Good News about Jesus. The continuation of the story is up to us who have received this Good News.
As the liturgical season of Christmas ends today, we begin to reflect on a weekly basis on what it means to live the Good News that Jesus Christ has been revealed as Son of God. Much of our reflection will come from Mark’s Gospel.
Today he presents the dramatic scene in the waters of the Jordan River, as Jesus is baptized by John. The Spirit descends on Jesus, and a heavenly voice claims him: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
From the Jordan, Jesus will begin a mission of healing and exorcism. Just as the Spirit hovered over the primeval waters at the dawn of Creation described in the Book of Genesis, so now the Spirit is at work in Jesus—and in each of us, become new creations in Christ through our own Baptisms.
By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In this passage (Is :1-4, 6-7) from the prophet Isaiah, what does the Lord say in the first verse?
The Lord has called his servant for a great victory. What does this passage say God’s servant will do? What is this “victory of justice?”
This reading from Acts (10: 34-38) is a summary. Whose life and works are spoken about by Peter?
How does Peter describe Jesus?
The first part of the Gospel (Mark 1:7-11) is about John the Baptizer. What did John proclaim?
The second part of this reading tells of how John baptized Jesus, but then something unusual happened. Whose voice was heard from Heaven? Who came down upon Jesus, like a dove?
Water is a very important part of our lives. In fact, it’s essential. Think of all the ways you use water in your life on a daily basis and then think of ways that you could conserve some of that water.
Ask a family member to show you pictures from your Baptism.
Write a note to your godparents, if possible, thanking each of them for being a model of faith for you.