The Baptism of the Lord Year B

Published on 04 Jan 2021
Image of a young man in a river with light shining down.

‘I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit’

Almighty ever-living God,

who, when Christ had been baptised in the River Jordan

and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him,

solemnly declared him your beloved Son,

grant that your children by adoption,

reborn of water and the Holy Spirit,

may always be well pleasing to you.

Today’s feast of the Baptism of Our Lord brings to an end the season of Christmas. Coming after the Epiphany of the Lord, it can be seen as a second manifestation of Christ, as the heavens are opened before the whole world.

Through Christ’s baptism, in which the entire Trinity is present (Gospel), the world is made into a second creation.

In the First Reading, from Isaiah, we hear how God’s word will bear fruit in us. The one we see being baptised in the Gospel is the Word and, by carrying out the Father’s will perfectly, all creation is restored.

This is why we can join with the Psalmist: ‘With joy we shall draw water from the wells of salvation’!

St John develops this theme (Second Reading) when he says that because Jesus overcame the world by water and blood, so we, with the Spirit living in us, can be saved.

This coming week, let’s strive to deepen our trust in the Father, who is our salvation; to nurture our faith in the Spirit, who works in us to ensure we do not return empty-handed; and to strengthen our joy in the Son, through whose incarnation and baptism we are made into God’s children.

Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty!    First Reading

Listen, and your soul will live.    First Reading

Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear.     Responsorial Psalm

For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.     St Athanasius
This week’s texts if you want to explore further:

Isaiah 55: 1–11; Resp. Psalm: Isaiah 12: 2–6; John 5: 1–9; Mark 1: 7–18