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Showing posts with label Feast of the Baptism of The Lord. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Feast of the Baptism of The Lord. Show all posts

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Solemn Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him.  But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him.   And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him.  And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.

In the Eastern Church this feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan God appeared in three persons. The baptism of John was a sort of sacramental preparatory for the Baptism of Christ. It moved men to sentiments of repentance and induced them to confess their sins. Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the "substance of our flesh" and was recognized "outwardly like unto ourselves", He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism which would remove all the sins of the world: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world".

Many of the incidents which accompanied Christ's baptism are symbolical of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ's baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His baptism Christ was proclaimed the "Beloved Son" of the Father; at our Baptism we become the adopted sons of God. At Christ's baptism the heavens were opened; at our Baptism heaven was opened to us. At His baptism Jesus prayed; after our Baptism we must pray to avoid actual sin.

— Excerpted from Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pope Benedict's Homily on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI baptised 20 babies in the Sistine Chapel Sunday, urging couples and godparents to lead their lives as an example of true Christian virtue even though it may seem unfashionable.

In his homily for this year’s celebration on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, the Pope said “It's not always easy to openly and uncompromisingly show your beliefs, especially in the context in which we live, in a society that often considers unfashionable those who live out their faith in Jesus.”

The full text of Vatican Radio’s unofficial translation follows:

Dear brothers and sisters!

The joy arising from the celebration of Christmas finds its completion today in the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. To this joy is added another reason for those of us who are gathered here: in the Sacrament of Baptism that will soon be administered to these infants, the living and active presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested, enriching the Church with new children, enlivening and making them grow, and we cannot help but rejoice. I wish to extend a special greeting to you, dear parents and godparents, who today bear witness to your faith by requesting Baptism for these children, because they are regenerated to new life in Christ and become part of the community of believers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

"Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened; And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven: 'Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.'"
Luke 3:21-22

Taverner Choir and Players - 'Domini Fili Unigenite' - Vivaldi

Pastor Emeritus

St. John the Belov
ed Catholic Church



From the Pastor - 'A Living Force for All Mankind'

A Weekly Column by Father George Rutler

"The Baptism of Jesus" by Leonardo da Vinci

Jesus did not need to be baptized, yet he did so to occasion another “epiphany” announcing his divinity. St. Gregory Nazianzen said: “Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens, like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent.”

In an age cynical about heroes, it is important to remember that there really are heroes, and the greatest heroes are those who have been faithful to their baptism. One example is Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart (1880 – 1963).  He was born of an influential Catholic family in Belgium. His Irish mother died when he was six, and his father, an international attorney, took him to Cairo where he learned Arabic. From there the young Adrian went to the Birmingham Oratory School founded by Blessed John Henry Newman. He later left Oxford University to become a soldier in the British Army and fought in the Boer War and both World Wars. He lost an eye and a hand and was shot up with shrapnel, which was removed only late in life. This did not stop him from being a first-class game hunter in Hungary, Bavaria, Austria, and Bohemia, and a fox hunter and polo player.

This flower of the Edwardian Age was admired by Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek and challenged Mao Tse-tung to his face. During World War I, while serving in the Somaliland Camel Corps, Carton de Wiart was wounded in a foray against the “Mad Mullah” Mohammed bin Abdullah Hassan and was shot many times in the battles of the Somme, Passchendaele and Cambrai. His wife was a Polish countess and taught him her language. He was sent to Poland with the British Military Mission and got to know Charles de Gaulle. There he engaged in a shootout with the Bolsheviks, befriended the pianist and premier, Paderewski, and the future Pope Pius XI, then nuncio to Poland, whom he encouraged to remain when Warsaw was under attack.  After an air crash, General de Wiart was a prisoner in Lithuania.

In World War II he fought in Norway. En route to defend Yugoslavia against a Nazi invasion, his plane was shot down in Libya, and he became a prisoner of Mussolini in Italy. Released, he was sent on a mission to China by way of India, fought in Burma, and consulted General MacArthur in Tokyo.

In his autobiography, de Wiart neglected to mention his various decorations and knighthoods, including the Victoria Cross. But he remembered that he had been baptized. He was the kind of hero St. Gregory spoke of: “Today let us do honour to Christ’s baptism . . . He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven.”

Fr. George W. Rutler is the pastor of the Church of our Saviour in New York City. His latest book, Coincidentally: Unserious Reflections on Trivial Connections, is available from Crossroads Publishing.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Father George Rutler on The Baptism of The Lord

Father Rutler was ordained to the diaconate in Rome by His Eminence William Cardinal Baum in 1980 and received priestly ordination in St. Patrick's Cathedral at the hands of His Eminence Terence Cardinal Cooke in 1981. For ten years he was National Chaplain of Legatus, the organization of Catholic business leaders and their families, engaged in spiritual formation and evangelization. A board member of several schools and colleges, he is also Chaplain of the New York Guild of Catholic Lawyers and has long been associated with the Missionaries of Charity, and other religious orders, as a retreat master. Since 1988 his weekly television program has been broadcast worldwide on EWTN. Father Rutler has lectured and given retreats in many nations, frequently in Ireland and Australia. Cardinal Egan appointed him Pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in New York City, effective September 17, 2001.

Born in 1945 and reared in the Episcopal tradition in New Jersey and New York, Father Rutler was an Episcopal priest for nine years, and the youngest Episcopal rector in the country when he headed the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1979 and was sent to the North American College in Rome for seminary studies. His parents, Adolphe and Dorothy, both now deceased, were received into the Church in 1982 by Cardinal Cooke. Father Rutler graduated from Dartmouth, where he was a Rufus Choate Scholar, and took advanced degrees at the Johns Hopkins University and the General Theological Seminary. He holds several degrees from the Gregorian and Angelicum Universities in Rome, including the Pontifical Doctorate in Sacred Theology, and studied at the Institut Catholique in Paris. In England, in 1988, the University of Oxford awarded him the degree Master of Studies.

Father Rutler contributes to numerous scholarly and popular journals and has published 14 books on theology, history, cultural issues, and the lives of the saints, and also one book on sports, as a member of the U.S. Squash Racquets Association.