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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 08.01.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 08.01.24

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ISAIAH 55: 1 – 11

Thus says the Lord: “Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, merciful love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.  Behold, you shall call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I intend, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Isaiah 12: 2 – 3, 4bcd, 5 – 6 (R.) 3

R/. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. R/.

“Give thanks to the Lord call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.” R/.

“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” R/.

SECOND READING
“The Spirit, the water, and the blood.”
1ST JOHN 5: 1 – 9

Beloved: Every one who believes that Jesus is tire Christ has been born of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the one begotten by him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has borne witness to his Son.

The Word of the Lord.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
John 1: 29

Alleluia.
John saw Jesus coming towards him and said: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
You are my Son, the beloved,’ my favour rests on you.
MARK 1: 7 – 11

At that time: John preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptised you with water; but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: “You are My Beloved Son”


Monday, January 8, 2024

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:9–11)

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord concludes for us the Christmas Season and transitions us into the beginning of Ordinary Time. From a Scriptural point of view, this event in Jesus’ life is also a transitional moment from His hidden life in Nazareth to the beginning of His public ministry. As we commemorate this glorious event, it’s important to ponder a simple question: Why was Jesus baptized? Recall that John’s baptism was one of repentance, an act by which he invited his followers to turn from sin and to turn to God. But Jesus was sinless, so what was the reason for His Baptism?

First of all, we see in the quoted passage above that Jesus’ true identity was made manifest through His humble act of baptism. “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” spoke the voice of the Father in Heaven. Furthermore, we are told that the Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove. Thus, Jesus’ baptism is in part a public declaration of Who He is. He is the Son of God, a divine Person Who is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. This public testimony is an “epiphany,” a manifestation of His true identity for all to see as He prepares to begin His public ministry.

Second, by His baptism, Jesus’ incredible humility is made manifest. He is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, but He allows Himself to become identified with sinners. By sharing in an act that was focused upon repentance, Jesus speaks volumes through His action of baptism. He came to unite Himself with us sinners, to enter our sin and to enter into our death. By entering the water, He symbolically enters into death itself, which is the result of our sin, and rises triumphantly, allowing us to also rise with Him to new life. For this reason, Jesus’ baptism was a way of Him “baptizing” the waters, so to speak, so that water itself, from that moment onward, would be endowed with His divine presence and could be communicated to all who are baptized after Him. Therefore, sinful humanity is now able to meet divinity through baptism.

Lastly, when we share in this new baptism, through water that has now been sanctified by our divine Lord, we see in Jesus’ baptism a revelation of who we become in Him. Just as the Father spoke and declared Him as His Son, and just as the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, so also in our baptism we become the adopted children of the Father and are filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, Jesus’ baptism gives clarity as to whom we become in Christian baptism.

PRAYER:
Lord, I thank You for Your humble act of baptism by which You opened the Heavens to all who are sinners. May I open my heart to the unfathomable grace of my own baptism each and every day and more fully live with You as a child of the Father, filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus, I trust in You.

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