YOU are my beloved Son with you I am well pleased. In today’s Gospel we hear Mark’s account of the story of Jesus’ baptism, this is such an important event it appears in all the four Gospels, although in John’s Gospel it is John who describes the amazing things that happened when he baptised Jesus and what this meant. It is described as a second Epiphany which means to reveal.
Jesus was baptised at the start of his public ministry before he had done anything His Father’s voice from heaven and the appearance of a dove and sign of the Holy Spirit reminds of the Trinity. Even though Jesus had not done anything, His Father was letting everyone know he was loved and that he was pleased with him. I don’t remember my own baptism, like many of you I was baptised as a child, but I know that it involved water, oil, a candle and white cloth and that during the baptism those present made promises on my behalf and together said the Our Father.
An action we remind our young people when they are preparing for confirmation. This time last year our young people and their parents gathered in the Baptistry and were each blessed with water as their parents made the sign of the cross on their foreheads and said You are my beloved Son / Daughter, with you I am well pleased. Perhaps at home this is an action each of us can do as we listen to the Gospel, so that as sons and daughters of God we can feel the water and hear the words that God Our Father is saying to us. And for those who live alone then say the words aloud or listen to a recording which will be on the Cathedral Blog. AMH
A Pastoral Letter from the Bishop of Lancaster
Appointed to be read aloud at the Holy Mass in the Diocese of Lancaster on the Solemnity of the Holy Family 2020
My dear people,This Solemnity of the Lord’s Nativity is kept holy as we recognise Christ, the Light in our darkness, Christ, our Saviour. It falls at a particular time in our calendar but is relevant for the whole year. Christmas falls on 25th December but its gift should be opened each day of the year.
Over these past ten months we have been made aware of our frailty and our strength both as individuals and as a society. We know that the pandemic has landed more heavily on some than on others. We know that certain individuals can cope better under this pressure than others. We have been asked repeatedly to be considerate of others, especially the most vulnerable and those whose occupations or circumstances put them in the front line of this battle.When a care worker, medic or teacher finishes their shift or their work for the day, what do they do? They go home. Home to what? For the vast majority, they go home to family, spouse, children, news of elderly parents, washing, shopping, cleaning, preparing meals, medical appointments, bills and hopefully time to relax. All this – and more – is what it means to live in this world.
December 25, 2020 by Bishop Paul Swarbrick
HOMILY FOR MIDNIGHT MASS OF THE LORD’S NATIVITY.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and all people of good will,
Whoever you are, wherever you are from, whatever has happened in your life and your world up to now, I welcome you and share with you the blessing, the peace, joy and encouragement of our Saviour’s birth. Happy Christmas!
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