The Baptism of our Lord 10th January 2016. Holy Year Year of Mercy. PRO LIFE SUNDAY .
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
My Dear People,
Today our Lord entered the waters which God had created at the beginning - the waters of life without which we would not be here. This creature element called H2O in the basis of all life on earth as you will discover with Attenborough in Africa on the TV Series - moving indeed, on how the animals search for the life giving liquid.
Our Lord's Sacred Body – God Made Man enters those waters of the Jordan and in so doing sanctifies especially the waters of Baptism. The power of Baptism water comes from the fact that the Church consecrates it for the purpose and with the pouring of water and the Form of Words : "I baptise you..." - a person is born again of water and the Holy Spirit AND ENTERS A NEW DIMENSION OF LIFE in God. It is the beginning of the journey which will find its final destination in Heaven with the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit – our Lady and all the Saints of God – the Angels too. Our Lord's last command and mandate to the Apostles was "Go baptise all the nations and teach them everything I have told you."
Now – we have to see this great mystery today of Jesus' humble Baptism at the hands of John as one of the three disclosures of Jesus' Divine Presence in this world of Sin.
First he is revealed to the Shepherds in the fields by the Angel in the night sky. Jesus is then disclosed to the Wise Man in the Epiphany event -The Star which rose in the East and then hovered over the house where the child was with his Mother, Mary. The Magi entered and sank to their knees in homage.
Finally today he is disclosed to the whole world by the Eternal Father's Voice when the heavens are split open. The voice says: "You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you." Then the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus, immersed in the River Jordan, praying and shows his presence in the form of a dove descending. What a disclosure that was eh? You will notice in St Kentigerns' and St Edward’s the image of the Dove hovering over the Altar of Sacrifice. When the priest stretches out his hands over the bread and wine he implores the Holy Spirit to "come upon the gifts and make them holy so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ." And it is effective for the elements are changed into our Lord’s Body and Blood.
This then is the final feast of the Christmas period of the Liturgy. Next week the Crib will be taken down and Christmas will be over. Next week will be the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary time cycle.
Our Lord's Baptism was one of humility and solidarity with the human race he had joined. The creator Lord accepts a baptism of repentance at the hands of the creature he made. The innocent one becomes like a sinner to express solidarity with us poor sinners. The result is the heavens are already torn open and the Holy Spirit is released hovering upon Christ's sacred body like he does now on his Holy Church which is Christ's Mystical Body – therefore upon us.
God Bless you all in this new year of our Lord,
Father Tom Connolly
TODAY THE SECOND COLLECTION IS FOR THE Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child. The struggle to defend the unborn goes on. It requires great application because the enemy of the babe in the womb is very rich and powerful. It wants now to spread its snare now to Ireland so they can get their wicked hands on more young babes there. Nearly every Trade Union in the land subscribes to the Abortion Law Reform Society to promote Abortion. Schools are expected to tell the kids where they can acquire one without telling your mum or dad. The UN spends huge sums on "reproductive Health". In Universities the Catholic Society can never be part of the Student Union because it won’t join the Pro Abortion Reform Society- there is is barred.
Bidding Prayers for the Baptism of the Lord.
Priest: On this day the Father revealed his Only Son and commanded us to listen to him. In obedience we now come in his name to seek God's help in all our needs.
Reader: The Father's Voice was heard acclaiming the Son in the River Jordan. May the world listen to the Father's voice today and so find new life in abundance. Lord in your mercy.
The Holy Spirit was seen like a dove descending - may the Holy Spirit today descend on us and all God's people to enable us to be witnesses to that Light which is Christ our Lord. Lord in your mercy.
For all the families with their homes flooded and ruined that they may receive the support and help they require. Lord in your mercy.
That the Holy Catholic Church in our day spread to far horizons - may she make Christ present in the midst of our world just as in John the Baptist's time. Be with those on the Missions overseas who we support through MISSIO Red Boxes. Lord in your mercy.
We commend to God all our dear ones who are ill and suffering: Marie Whitley, Chrissie Molloy, Chris Lyden, Christine Booth, Denis McLoughlin, Michael Nolan, Agnes Benson, Ann Nolan. Lord in your mercy.
Grant to the dead the fullness of redemption; raise them up in Christ who is the Lord of Life. We pray for Father Anthony Sudlow and Fr. Birmingham, Mary Carney, Sam O'Brien, Jim Mahon, Teresa Davey.
AND for all those souls whose anniversaries fall about this time: Margaret Dowd, (11am), Harry Duggan (9am), Mr and Mrs Thomas Carpenter, Afram Zaer, John Moloney and Austin Hopkins. MAY THEIR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED THROUGH THE MERCY OF GOD REST IN PEACE. AMEN.
O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Through the most Immaculate Virgin, you came to live with us : help us, by her prayers to attain your life with the Father of Light: Hail Holy Queen...
Priest: On this most holy feast of the Baptism of Our Lord we pray to you almighty Father for these and all our needs and the needs of the whole world. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.