January 8, 2021
Today draws the Christmas Season to an end so that the Christmas Season ends. Tomorrow we move into what is called Ordinary Time where Jesus Christ starts His personal ministry. Like us, Christ’s Baptism prepares Him for (God’s) ministry and now Jesus Christ is ready for ministry.
Our Baptism prepares us for our ministry; we are now made God’s children who are given the powerful Holy Spirit for ministry. We are now called to serve and “everyone’s baptism is an invitation into Christ’s mission [for the Church]” (Dinah Simmons, introduction to today’s Mass in today’s Living With Christ). We spend the rest of our lives doing so. “After the Lord was baptized, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove, and the voice of the Father-Mother thundered. This is my beloved Son, with who I am well pleased.” (See today’s Gospel).
In today’s readings, alternative readings exist. This shows in much detail how successful God’s missionaries will be. The Responsorial Psalm (Isaiah 12) trusts God to do very great things through us. The Second Reading is from 1 John 5 which focuses on the one who conquers by obeying the commandments which are not burdensome, especially since the Spirit and the water and the blood all agree. If we receive human testimony, that of God is greater Who has testified to God’s son. (Note the emphasis here on the person of Jesus Christ!)
In the Gospel Acclamation, Christ is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. The Gospel from Saint Mark centres Jesus as God’s Chosen One.
Be sure today to note the alternate readings which are also very powerful today. The First Reading speaks of the holy servant who brings justice to the nations, a justice that is clear. The responsorial psalm, Psalm 29, maintains that the Lord will bless God’s people with peace. The Second Reading stresses a God Who shows no partiality. The Holy Servant who brings justice to the nation is really the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. The Lord of all Who produces and preaches peace and anointing of the Spirit and Who goes about doing good and healing all oppressed by the devil does so because God is with us in Him. Note that the Antiphon after Communion shows Christ to be the Son of God. Note the richness of the theological exposition here!
Christ here is the glorious Saviour connected with the Blessed Trinity and He cannot just be overlooked or forgotten. We must see to it that His will is met! Let us do so! And we do so by helping today’s poor and needy! So, make sure that this Sunday you make a sizable donation to the poor!
Father Fred Scinto, C.R.
*Please make sure this donation is SIZABLE!