Jan. 11 2015 Reflection

In the story of Jesus' baptism, we hear the report of a significant moment in Jesus' life. By accepting baptism from John the Baptist, Jesus shows himself to accept solidarity with sinners. In the voice from heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit, we know that God received this offering from Jesus and found it pleasing. In the passages that follow in Mark's Gospel, we learn that Jesus' baptism marks the beginning of his public ministry. Although many of us may have already taken down our Christmas decorations, liturgically speaking, the Christmas season hasn't ended yet; today is the last day. Holidays like Christmas are highlights of our year, moments of great grace. This grace renews us and prepares us for our return to the season of Ordinary Time, to the continuing work of discipleship. Gather as a family and discuss your feelings about the ending of the Christmas season. How does it feel to take down the Christmas decorations? Many of us experience a letdown after the excitement of Christmas; others may feel relieved that life is returning to normal. Liturgically, we end the Christmas season today by reflecting on the importance of Jesus' baptism. Read together today's Gospel, Mark 1:7-11. Jesus' baptism prepared him for his public ministry. What will we take from this Christmas season to carry us forward into Ordinary Time, to renew and strengthen our life of Christian discipleship? Conclude by praying together today's psalm response taken from the book of the prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 12:2-6, or pray the Prayer to the Holy Spirit (Loyola Press, Sunday Connection)