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year (Year B) please click here
SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (14th
reading from the holy Gospel according to John
The next day John again was standing with two
of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look,
here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him
say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw
them following, he said to them, “What are you looking
for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated
means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said
to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where
he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was
about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who
heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s
brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We
have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed).
He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him an said, “You
are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which
is translated Peter).
of us who were baptised as infants cannot remember the moment
of our baptism. Fortunately, we have an abundance of symbols
and rituals to anchor us in our 'baptismal memory'. When
we pass by the baptismal font in our Church we can 'remember'
our baptism. Anytime we have the pleasure of being in the
congregation at a baptism ceremony we can 'remember' our
baptism. We can look at photographs or take out the family
christening gown or baptismal candle to have a visual reminder
of our initiation into the Christian faith. But most significantly
whenever we turn to one of the Gospel
passages that tell the story of Jesus' baptism we can 'remember'
our baptism in an especially powerful way.
comes to the Jordan, is baptised by John and everything changes.
The sky breaks open. The spirit comes, announcing the fulfilment
of the prophetic promise for which the people of Israel were
waiting. And when we are baptised the same thing happens -
the spirit comes down and makes itself known, claiming us
as children of God and calling us to anchor
ourselves in God's love.
The fact of our baptism ought to have continuing significance
and impact upon our lives. It ought to be a continual source
of strength and comfort. Baptism isn't just a one-off event
but an ongoing reality. We have a new identity in Christ. Every
day we are to live out the meaning of our baptism. To say 'I
belong to God' is to find new strength to meet the difficult
situations life presents us with. To remember our baptism is
to gain a new sense of personal responsibility for our lives
- we are accountable to God for
The simple act of entering a Catholic Church and blessing ourselves
with water from the font at the entrance is a way of remembering
our baptismal commitment - in the name of the Father, and of
Son and of the Holy Spirit. We remember who we are as we enter
God's presence. And it makes even
more sense to put water on our foreheads as we leave the Church
and go out into the world - for there
the battles are fought. This is a month in which many of us
are feeling overwhelmed. In January, the
holidays are over and the bills are looming. Some people are
dealing with a variety of post-holiday
emotions; others already feel that they have failed in their
new year's resolutions. The message of Jesus'
baptism and a reminder of our own is needed at a time such
" Lord we are yours, help us to know it, to know it in the depth
of our hearts and to act accordingly,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen'.
Archdeacon of Glendalough