This is the sermon I had written for this morning at the Bethany Convent of the Sisters of St. Anne in Arlington, MA. I have been sick in bed and with our current cold weather I was not able to go to the convent to preach this morning, but I felt that I would like to share the message that I put together after several days of meditation on the appointed Gospel reading and the theme for this Sunday.
– David Allen, SSJE
On this first Sunday of Epiphany the Baptism of Jesus can be understood as a manifestation of Christ.
Mark’s Gospel brings together the O.T. Prophecy of Jesus birth and John the forerunner’s ministry. Without delay we read, “Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Cf. Mk. 1:4, 10-11)
Feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ
Take a moment to remember the last baptism you witnessed. Perhaps you can recall the proud parents and godparents, dressed in their Sunday best, standing around the baptismal font. In their arms they hold their young, freshly-bathed child, hoping that she won’t create a fuss. Before them stands the minister or priest, neatly dressed in suit and tie, or robe, or colorful vestments. The font stands ready. The congregation looks on with curiosity and pleasure, wondering how the child will respond to what is about to happen. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene. It is a family occasion, a beautiful moment that will long be remembered.
Delivered by Br. David Vryhof.
We hear that John and Jesus meet up with one another along the Jordan river. This must have been shocking for both of them. John and Jesus are cousins, and both of them are now about 30 years old, which is well advanced in years for that time – and they have known each other since their infancies.