Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – Week 1 of the Year (c)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
The Season of Christmas.
Sunday 10th January: The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Today, the Christmas season ends as we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. In a way, we continue the theme of last Sunday’s feast of the Epiphany by continuing to focus on Jesus making himself known to all peoples. Today we hear God’s words over the waters of the Jordan: ‘You are my Son, the Beloved, my favour rests on you.’ As Christians, we believe that God’s words are meant for all who have been baptized. We are God’s children, children in whom he should be well pleased. It is fitting us to reflect on our own Baptism – the beginning of our Christian journey.
Beginning of the Ordinary Season of the Year (2)
Monday 11th January: Monday of week 1 of the Year
In the ordinary cycle last year, we learned of the history of the people of Israel until shortly after they arrived in the Promised Land.
The first Book of Samuel tells the history of the setting up of a monarchy in Israel. It tells us more about God’s dealings with the Chosen People and highlights the message to them that, if they are faithful to the laws given to Moses, faithful to the Covenant they would experience peace and prosperity. On the other hand if they disobey they can expect punishment.
Today’s reading takes us to the background of the birth of Samuel, the first of the three main characters, the others being Saul and David.
In the Gospel, Jesus begins to preach the coming of the Kingdom of God among his people. He calls for penance and conversion and chooses his first disciples. His words are addressed to us today – Repent, be converted, be fishers of people for the Kingdom.
Tuesday 12th January: Tuesday of week 1 of the year.
Hannah is blessed and makes a vow that if she has a son he will be dedicated to God. Hannah goes home happy and eventually gives birth to Samuel.
Mark shows the power of God at work in Jesus, the Messiah. It is a power that is contested by the powers of evil. Such also is the power of God today in the world.
Wednesday 13th January: Feast of St. Kentigern
St. Kentigern (or Mungo) was a missionary in Strathclyde and eventually became their Bishop. He had to leave due to persecution and then preached in north-west England and Wales before returning to Scotland where he died in 603. He is the Patron Saint of Glasgow and is buried there.
Thursday 14th January: Weekday of week 1 of the year.
The Ark of the Covenant looms large in this reading. It accompanied the Israelites throughout their journeys. It is lost in a battle against the Philistines, and as a result, there is a loss of morale.
In the Gospel, Jesus heals the leper, an event which unheard of at that time. His watchers would not keep things quiet as Jesus wished.
Friday 15th January: Weekday of week 1 of the year.
In the first reading today we hear how the Philistines send the Ark of the Covenant back to the people of Israel. Under Samuel’s leadership the people repent of their former ways and commit themselves to the God of Israel.
Jesus wasn’t only interested in healing the physical needs of the people. There was a spiritual message to be learned. We hear of the value of faith and Jesus’ power to forgive sin. No ordinary person could have that power.
Saturday 16th January: Saturday of week 1 of the year.
In the first reading, we hear of Saul’s anointing as the first King of Israel. He was to save the people from their enemies. It was Samuel who anointed him.
The gospel passage is a consoling one. Jesus did not come to help those who believed they were spiritually healthy. He came to help those struggling to overcome sin their lives.
The light of God surrounds us;
The love of God enfolds us
The power of God protects us;
The presence of God watches over us;
Wherever we are,
And all is well.