Posts Tagged ‘Baptism’


Many of us through Advent had struggled to break away from habitual sin and temptation. Some realised that in order to do so in this extraordinary times, that they needed to journey on with a community and so either rejoined one or joined one striving to be faithful to Christ. Many of us went to great lengths to go for the Sacrament of reconciliation so as to prepare room in our hearts for our Saviour this Christmas. Having Him ‘reborn’ again in our hearts many had even decided to surrender the tradition of the past: that is of drunken revelry to welcome the new year. And so we all received the Blessings at the start of the year mentioned in the first reading of the Solemnity of Mary mother of God.

Today we are reminded to hold fast to our anointing received at our baptism where we became God our Father’s children. Having been fully united with Him through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we are called to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. And so having entered into the new year, St John in the first reading reminds us to stay awake and alert, “Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.”

O Holy Spirit, great counsellor and guide, One with the Father the Son; take us by the hand and lead us on in this new year. Amen

First reading
1 John 2:22-28 ·
The anointing he gave you teaches you everything


The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ – he is the liar,
he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son, because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning: as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,
you will live in the Son and in the Father;
and what is promised to you by his own promise is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything; you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.


Gospel
John 1:19-28
‘One is coming after me who existed before me’

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

a voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.


The Word of God is alive and active. The Word of God gives life and life to the full. The Word of God is Jesus and through Him we have eternal life. Why on earth then would people reject the Word of God?Let us ponder a little bit on the whys? Fundamentally I suppose we could say it is a result of free will. The same way we have free will to accept the word of God, we also have the free will to reject it. Some might say the word of God is of human construct till our course one day they encounter the Risen Lord themselves. Just like St Paul himself did on the road to Damascus. Others perhaps choose the path of least resistance, that is what they are confortable with; which is pretty much in line with the rest of the world. For the demands of living the Christian life seems all too altruistic, never mind the tomfoolery of it all in choosing narrow paths and carrying of crosses!We however have a strong faith in our Risen Lord because we live in the joy of His presence in our lives. We have seen the Lord! And so we have seen the Heavenly Father also. Why then should we fear rejection for speaking the truth and sharing it with others.
Let us be bold in the Spirit of truth as we share Jesus with all who will listen. Amen

First reading

Acts 13:44-52 ·
Since you have rejected the word of God, we must turn to the pagansThe next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:I have made you a light for the nations,
so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.
But the Jews worked upon some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city and persuaded them to turn against Paul and Barnabas and expel them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Gospel

John 14:7-14
To have seen me is to have seen the fatherJesus said to his disciples:‘If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.’

My Special Day…

Posted: July 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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How do you celebrate something which is not part of your own tradition to do so? Then again you will only remember it through the records of your parents unless of course they had made it a point to celebrate it as a family all the years before. Again no fault of theirs if they didn’t do so as again it is never really given any significant importance after the fact. What am I talking about?

Today is a very special day for me, for it is the day I was baptised and became a child of God my Heavenly Father, slightly less than a month after coming out of my mother’s womb. It must have been an extra special day for mum as she would have celebrated her own birthday the very next day.

I woke up this morning without fanfare knowing that there will be no elaborate celebration thrown for me but all the same with great joy in my heart. Then I received the one and only gift I was looking forward to receive and the most precious one at that, Jesus Himself in Holy Eucharist. Afterwhich I rushed home to have family breakfast together and to share my joy. If was not to be so as my family had other plans and so it was just me and Hannah.

No matter, I will spend this day reflecting if I have lived up to my baptismal promises, if I have strived enough to be Holy as my Heavenly Father is Holy and if I have brought the joy of Christ into the lives of, family, friends and all. So instead of wishing me Happy Baptism or something like that, instead simply say a prayer for me. Thank you and may our Lord Jesus Christ bless You and family always. Amen