Morena/Good morning Passionist Family Group members and friends,
It is almost unbelievable that we are now well and truly in the first week of a New Year. Many of you will be or have had the opportunity to recharge your batteries while some will still be regretting the situation where seeing loved ones or having them home is not a happening thing.
I was driving home today and heard on the news that NSW has in excess of 35,000 cases and Victoria over 16,000. Unbelievable.!! It impacts when it is your own homeland and I feel for all those who live here who are facing the ongoing effects Covid as well as the effects it is having on all the peoples on this planet we share. We are forced to rely on what matters and how we can respond to others and be considerate and keep each other safe but, also connected. Hope is essential as is this need to continually seek ways to connect with each other. We are dependent on each other to keep positivity going amidst uncertainty.
This weekend we celebrate the feast of The Baptism of the Lord and in the gospel Luke has a voice coming from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you’. This is an utterance we all need to hear in our lives. An affirmation of who we are and despite what we think of ourselves there are people who can affirm us and raise us up, literally. Many of us have had this experience where we have been transformed through someone’s words of love. This affirmation of Jesus is critical for him as he contemplates a ministry and mission that will demand much from him.
His faith and hope is the grounded belief of ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us! For Jesus this affirmation is just that, a faith rooted in the belief that God is with him as he goes forward. In our Passionist Family Groups this should be our guide as we go forward into another year. To seek ways to live this gospel message as a “community of believers” one in mind and heart. To work at being a ‘Family for All’.
You have done this and now we need to again go out to the winding lanes and seek out those who have lost heart and bring hope through our love and compassion and create a sense of being reconnected. Those winding lanes are in our own communities and parishes. Many have become polarised, disenchanted and carry some hurt. We must try and reconnect to see that we can overcome these things when we support and encourage one another. A sense of being righteous brings separation whereas bringing our vulnerability creates unity and understanding.
As we go forward at the end of this first week of this New Year let us all be mindful of being people who have hearts of flesh not stone. That, as we move forward to find ways to encourage, support, care and love another as you have done for so many years. You have given great example in times of difficulty I encourage you to keep going and at the same time thank you for all you are doing to bring people together.
God go with you, Paul
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD. – 9 JANUARY 2022 YEAR C
First reading: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 103(102):1-4, 24-25, 27-30
Second reading: Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
Gospel: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
Link to readings – click here
Today marks the end of the Christmas season, as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. It heralds the beginning of Jesus’s public mission: the work of teaching, preaching and healing. God’s great love and mercy offer salvation to all through Jesus, by the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel, God proclaims Jesus as his beloved Son at his baptism in the Jordan. St Luke draws our attention to the descent of the Holy Spirit while Jesus is at prayer.
The First Reading offers hope and joy. God has seen his people repent and will bring them home across the desert. He is both their defender and their shepherd, who gathers, guides and nourishes.
The image of God gathering and nourishing is echoed in the Psalm. The Lord renews with his Spirit all who look to him. St Paul (Second Reading) tells us it is entirely due to God’s mercy, love and compassion that we are offered salvation; not for anything we have achieved. God’s loving kindness is revealed through ‘the cleansing water of rebirth’ and renewal with the Holy Spirit in Christ.
Today is an opportunity to reflect on the gift of baptism. We remind ourselves that the words spoken at Jesus’s baptism also apply to us. We, too, are beloved daughters and sons of God, called to make known the love of God to all we meet. Let’s pray this week, and in the weeks ahead, for whatever grace God feels we need to help us.
Never criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you criticize them, you’ll be a mile away, and you’ll have their shoes.
- What do you call Jay-Z’s former girlfriend?
- Why did the hipster burn his mouth?
He drank his coffee before it was cool.
- What do you call The Weeknd from Friday to Monday?
The Long Weeknd.
- What do you call a Minecraft meetup IRL?
A block party.
Why can’t dinosaurs clap their hands?