It may seem strange, but this is a Christmas Feast. Not if we think of Christmas only in terms of the Baby in Bethlehem, but if we have followed the ideas of the Feasts of Holy Family and especially Epiphany, and have seen the Season in terms of the growing manifestation or appearing of the Son of God: first to the shepherds and then to the wise men from the East. Now in the River Jordan, Jesus, Son of Mary, is revealed to all as the fullness of all God’s promises: “This is my Son, the Beloved“. On this day we stand before the revelation of God’s love for us, such that he would send his only Son into the world. Christmas without the Baptism of the Lord, and the words that are spoken from heaven, would be incomplete, since it is only in them that we fully see the wonder of what happened in Bethlehem, that we fully understand the reason for the joy with which we celebrated Christmas Day. As we come to the end of Christmas today, and look forward to hearing the Gospel in Ordinary Time, we do so having been shown who it is we listen to: the only Son of God, the Beloved.
1st Reading: Isaiah 55: 1-11
2nd Reading: 1 John 5: 1-9
Gospel Reading: Mark 1: 7-11
Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour. With joy you will draw the water from the wells of salvation. Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name! Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples! Declare the greatness of his name. Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds, make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy! For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel