THEME: BAPTISM OF THE LORD
“Witnessing the Messiah by my faith”
Jesus approaches the Jordan quietly, watching John baptizing people from all walks of life. John doesn’t notice Jesus until he is just ten metres away on the shore, then he is awestruck.
Perhaps in their childhood the two cousins had met and played together at the home of Elizabeth and Zachary; perhaps they were conscious of the ‘special’ events that marked each other’s births – shared with them by their mothers, Mary and Elizabeth.
Whatever their earlier connections, now comes the ultimate moment for John when he is about to recognize in Jesus, his cousin from Galilee, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God.
Jesus enters the water and stands before John asking to be baptised; John waits a moment before speaking, wondering if he has heard correctly. He says, “It is you who should be baptizing me.” Jesus accepts his objection, but then gently says: “Let it be this way for now, so that righteousness may be fulfilled.”
Puzzled, John scoops up the Jordan waters and lets it flow down upon the head of Jesus – the ‘one who saves’. He feels utterly humbled at being asked, and at the privilege of the moment.
Then the unexpected happens: as Jesus steps away from John to reach the river bank, the heavens are strangely, silently, torn asunder and in a burst of light a pure white dove descends upon Jesus. At that very moment a voice from heaven is heard addressing Jesus: “You are my Son, the Beloved; in you I am well pleased.”
Now John understands his mission at last. He has been calling hundreds, perhaps thousands, to repent and be baptised. He has even argued with king Herod and told him that he is living in sin; he has upbraided the Scribes and Pharisees who came to him, calling them a “brood of vipers”, and he admonished soldiers who were sent to find out why he was baptizing.
All that he had done – his life of prayer and fasting living only on locusts and wild honey, his preaching and baptizing, now made sense. He has seen the Messiah, his cousin Jesus, publicly confirmed by the presence of the Dove and the voice of God.
John had been the ‘voice crying in the wilderness’ that the way of the Lord be prepared, and now John knows, now he knows what he was preparing for.
As Jesus was confirmed in his mission by the Holy Spirit and the Father, so too does John experience a powerful renewal of his own faith in his own ‘call’, and He even accepts martyrdom.
Often in life God asks us to wait, and to wait, and to wait, before He affirms His presence in our life. During this period of waiting, like John, we should be ‘about the Father’s business’ even though we see nothing and feel little support. This is the nature of faith.
John had faith in his call and was faithful. We will do well to reflect on Jesus’ words that through our baptism into the family of God and because we are clothed with the Holy Spirit, we share the greatness of John the Baptist.
Mass Intentions 10th – 18th
6.30pm Mass (John & Jim Hanrahan)
Sunday 11th Baptism of the Lord
9.00am Mass (For all parishioners)
9.00am (Bronte Connington; Gale & Termutz fms)
9am Mass (Linda & Sr Anne Gale)
9am Mass (Agnes Gannon, Shane Clohessy)
12.00 .Mass (Kevin Hanrahan, Charlie Cleary)
9am Mass (Sick, lost, & persecuted)
Saturday 17th St Anthony
8.45am Rosary & Mass (Skehan & Loveridge fms)
6.30pm Vigil (John & Janina Paluviski)
Sunday 18th 2nd Sunday in Ordinary
9.00am Mass (All parishioners)
Sunday Mass Roster 17th – 18th Jan
6.30pm J Clohessy B O’Donoghue
6.30pm G & E Kingston
9.00am M Kelly M Milthorpe
6.30pm A Pilgrim M Skehan
9.00am B Christy R Taylor
Altar; N Warhust
6.30pm M Clohessy M Skehan
9.00am C Sandral
6.30pm: S Knight M Blockley
9.00am B Linsell-Willett J Tilders
Collection: J Taylor
Counting: L & N Hughes
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Remember in Prayer
Pauline Kerr, Cliff Broderick, Bill Tunstall, Vera Petteit, John Hickey, Mark Fitzgibbon, Noel Houlihan, Hunt family, Kevin Elliott, Jace Whyte, Noreen Rourke, Pat Kelly.
FAMILY SYNOD QUESTIONNAIRE
Those invited to share their answers will quickly discover the ‘Relatio’ or principal document does not read like an Agatha Christie, or like the back page of the Border Mail. It is solid going and will only be rewarded with careful and several readings.
After your first reading, read the questions before you embark again. Then you will be alert to the topics raised by the questions and your own thinking will be stimulated.
Begin by relating the questions to the sections of the document. Try to find the paragraph/s relevant to the question you are trying to answer. Begin with the easier questions and work towards the others. Your reflection and inspirations will increase as you work.
It is an important work for the Church and we are privileged to participate in this feedback to Rome for the Synod in October this year. The deadline for the returns to the Parish Office is February 2nd.
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SRE Event … Sunday 18th January 2015
5.00pm at the Baptist Church in Corowa: Official launch of the CARE/SRE program for the schools in 2015. This will be a time of prayer and discussion, followed by a BBQ. All welcome.