Baptism of the Lord Year A

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Gospel Reflection for the Baptism of the Lord Year A – January 12th 2014

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. John tried to dissuade him. ‘It is I who need baptism from you’ he said ‘and yet you come to me!’ But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands’. At this, John gave in to him.

As soon as Jesus was baptised he came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And a voice spoke from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him’.

Matthew 3:13-17


Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist had a different meaning to ours. It didn’t mean joining a group like we join the church, but more a baptism of sorrow for sin, and of entering new life. Many were baptised by John and Jesus identified with his people in his baptism.

At the baptism he heard the best words he could hear. You are my beloved. God led Jesus to John, to the faith people, to hear these words.

One of us, one with us, he could now be one for us. Joy flooded his heart as he heard these word. Bells rang for Jesus in the Jordan that only he could hear.

Have you heard it in your life? At times times we face the huge mysteries of love, beauty, friendship, birth, death. And we know in the middle of it all, we are beloved.

Our call is to be involved fully in life and  love. The Christian is called to be with others at the times of need and of depth. Jesus did that – plunging himself into our humanity and with all of us, God is found there and found there now.

The feast of the baptism is of something new for all. It is also the feast of Cana… the new wine and the old water, and the old law is giving way to the new Spirit in Jesus.

So let the bells of love ring for us in God and wherever we find it; let’s ring bells of love for all the most needy of God’s people.

Donal Neary SJ

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