Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

The Baptism of the Lord, Second Sunday and Third Sunday (Year A) 8, 15, 22 January 2023

The Baptism of the Lord (Matthew 3:13-17)

This Feast brings the Christmas season to an end. Jesus, although he is sinless, wishes to undergo with the people the baptism of repentance. The baptism of Jesus by John is accompanied by a vision and a voice. Jesus sees the Spirit descend on him. The words addressed to Jesus echo the words of God in the first reading from the book of Isaiah. This passage is known as the first ‘Servant Song’. The baptism of Jesus is a clear expression of his will to stand alongside sinners in order to bring us the fulness of life. go against deeply felt ideas in order to do the will of God?

How has the celebration of the Christmas season inspired your faith and work?

Why did Jesus seek baptism from John?

We thank God for the incarnation, that the Son of God has taken on himself the joys and sorrows of the human condition.

We pray for fidelity and maturity in living out our own Christian calling to, be servants.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (John 1:29-34)

The evangelist, John the Baptist, is above all a witness. There is no detailed presentation of the baptism of Christ. Rather, the Baptist proclaims the abiding presence of the Spirit with Jesus. This evangelist is not interested in the self-abasement of Jesus in accepting baptism from John but focuses on the witness to Jesus given by the Baptist.

John points out Jesus with the words: ‘There is the Lamb of God!’ These words recall the Passover Lamb, slaughtered at the exodus from Egypt and year by year in the Jewish Passover feast. As the blood of the lamb was a sign of salvation for the Jews in Egypt, so the blood of Christ brings God’s salvation and freedom to those who accept him.

Do I accept Jesus as ‘ the Chosen One of God’?

How does the Fourth Evangelist present John the Baptist?

We pray with the Church: ‘Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us’.

We pray for a united witness from Christians to the truth which Christ brings.

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Matthew 4:12-23)

We hear the evangelist’s summary of Jesus’ message: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand’. Matthew precedes this with a quotation from the Hebrew Scriptures, which he declares to be fulfilled. Jesus brings light not only to Israel but to the nations too, to all those who ‘live in darkness’.

From the very start he calls disciples. Galilee is the first location for the preaching of the good news and for the healings of Jesus, the place where the gospel is warmly welcomed.

Have I allowed Jesus to transform he darkness of my life?

Am I willing to leave everything and follow him?

We pray for renewed openness to hearing the gospel.

We pray for all disciples of the Lord.                                                                  Fr Adrian Graffy