The Readings for this week can be found here: I Epiphany – The Baptism of Our Lord
For some of us this Sunday is one of the primary Baptismal Feast Days in the Church calendar. (The others include All Saints’ Day, The Great Vigil of Easter, and Pentecost). Some churches only baptize on these days…
Regardless of whether your church has a baptism on Sunday, or not, this feast day offers us an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of baptism in our lives. This is particularly relevant for those of us who baptize infants, as well as those of us who were baptized as an infant. It is an occasion to “remember” our own baptism.
John Shea, S.T.D., In his book, “The Spiritual Wisdom of the Gospels for Christian Preachers and Teachers: On Earth As It Is In Heaven, Year A” has this to say about these readings:
“Jesus’ baptism with Spirit does not substitute for John’s baptism with water. Both are needed. The revelation of Jesus includes the revelation of John even while it transcends it. John is the forerunner and essential preparation for Jesus. John clears a path. Without this cleared path Jesus will not arrive. There must be both repentance (baptism of John) and the coming of the Spirit (baptism of Jesus), a disidentification with sin and an identification with the Spirit-infused Child of God. This carefully reflected exchange reflects this nuanced position: the ultimate goal of John’s baptizing activity in Jesus, but the advent of Jesus does not make obsolete the work of John. John and Jesus are fundamentally linked, and they symbolize the essential relationship between the forgiveness of sins and the new life in the Spirit. (pg 50).
Where are your thoughts, reflections, ideas, leading you this Sunday?
More on John Shea: he is a theologian and storyteller who lectures internationally on storytelling in world religions, faith-based health care, contemporary spirituality, and the spirit at work movement. He has published eleven books of theology and spirituality and two books of poetry.