Theme of the Feast: Jesus Begins His Public Life. After the Christmas festivities, the liturgy presents us with the public life of Jesus, which begins with his baptism by John. The first reading describes the call, the gift of the Spirit and the mission of the “servant of the Lord.” The Gospel shows that Jesus is this faithful “servant” of the Father. The word of God this Sunday invites all Christians to follow Jesus who is about to begin a journey that will take him to death and resurrection.

Entrance Antiphon
After the Lord was baptised, 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, in whom I am well pleased.

Collect
Almighty everliving God, who when Christ had been  baptised in the River Jordan, and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him, solemnly declared him your beloved Son, grant that your children by adoption, reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, may always be well pleasing to you. Through our Lord. . .

O God, whose Only Begotten Son has appeared in our very flesh, grant, we pray, that we may be inwardly transformed through him whom we recognise as outwardly like ourselves. Who lives and reigns with you.

FIRST READING
Behold my servant, my chosen one, in whom my soul delights. ”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 42: 1-4.6-7)

Thus says the Lord: Behold my servant, whom I uphold, chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not fail or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the islands wait for his law. “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.”
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 29: la and 2.3ac-4.3b and 9c- 10(R. 11b)
R/. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly powers,
ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
bow down before the Lord, majestic in holiness. R/.

The voice of the Lord upon the waters,
the Lord on the immensity of waters;
the voice of the Lord full of power;
the voice of the Lord full of splendour. R/.

The God of glory thunders;
in his temple they all cry, “Glory!”
The Lord sat enthroned above the flood;
the Lord sits as king forever. R/.

SECOND READING
“God anointed him with the Holy Spirit. ”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles  (Acts 10:34-38)

In those days: Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the word which he sent to the sons of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA Cf. Mark 9:6
Alleluia. The heavens opened and the Father’s voice was heard: “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” Alleluia.

GOSPEL              
When Jesus was baptised the heavens were opened and the Spirit of God came upon him.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 3: 13-17)

At that time: Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptised, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and behold, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The Gospel of the Lord

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL: THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

Celebrant: To God, the Giver of life and the Author of all holiness, let us offer our prayers:

That, through our work and worship together, our parish community may be a light to our world: let us pray to the Lord.

That those who proclaim the gospel through their ministries of teaching, healing, and charity may bring sight to those who are blind to the life of God and liberation to those imprisoned by darkness: let us pray to the Lord.

That the nations and peoples of the world may work together for the “victory of justice”: lets us pray to the Lord.

That we may be always faithful to our covenant with God, a covenant sealed in the waters of our baptism: let us pray to the Lord.

That the sick and the suffering, the poor and the forgotten, the lost and the troubled may find hope in the “good news of peace”: let us pray to the Lord.

That those who have died may rise to the new life of the Risen Christ: let us pray to the Lord.

That the God of mercy and kindness will hear the prayers we now offer in the silence of our hearts

Celebrant: Lord of all creation, you have raised us to new life through water and the Spirit. May your Spirit of justice and peace always rest upon us so that we may dedicate ourselves to the work of the prayers we have offered. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

Today’s Reflection
“Baptism is a sacrament that cleanses us from original sin, make us Christians, children of God and members of the church.” This definition has its origin in the baptism of Jesus himself. By joining the queue of sinners to be baptized, he identifies with sinners that he is sent to save; he becomes one with them. Hence when the father’s voice from heaven declares, “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased,” the redeemed sinners also hear and become identified as God’s children. of course, it is the action of the holy spirit that makes us members of the church. We can now see that it is all about us. Jesus’ baptism is an invitation to us to share in his life. To be part of his life, we are to renounce irreligion and worldly passions and prepare our lives well for his dwelling.

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