Feast of Baptism of Jesus– Year B-10thJanuary 2021
St Joseph’s Passionist Church
Tel: 01. 42 27 28 56
Collection 3 January : Mass Collection €1,003.21 ADP : €2,888; La Quête : € 110. CCD : €400. Thanks for contributions to St Joseph’s especially at this time.
Al Anon, worldwide support group is for those concerned about someone else’s drinking, with 3 meetings in English weekly in Paris. www.al-anon-alateen.fr/reunions-langues-etrangeres . Phone: 01. 44 07 06 42
Giving Tree was a great success again this year. Thanks to Gretchen & Fabrice
Some CCD/Marymount Dates in 2021:
- CCD Confirmation Retreat at St Augustin’s 30 Jan, 9 am – 3 pm
- Enrolment Mass, 31 Jan, 11 am
- Marymount 1st Reconciliation, 10th February, 7 pm.
- CCD Letters to Bishop by 13 Feb
- Confirmation Retreat at Mary-mount, 13 Feb, 9.30 – 12.30 pm
- Marymount Enrolment Mass, 17 Feb at 9.00 am in school.
- CCD 1st Reconciliation, Sat. 13th March at 11.30 am.
- CCD Confirmation Retreat, 27th March with Bishop Marsset. He wishes to meet Parents, 1-2 pm.
- Bishop of Nanterre, Marymount on 12th May to discuss letters.
- CCD 1st Communions 22nd May at 11 a.m., St Joseph’s Church
- CCD Confirmations 23rd May at 3 pm in St Joseph’s Church.
- M’mount Confirmation 27 May 6.30 pm at Eglise Saint Jacques.
- Marymount 1st Communions on 29th May at 11 am.
Update on St Joseph’s Church:
RCIA has 7 Candidates preparing for Sacraments at the Easter Vigil 2021. Sessions are still online due to COVID.
Prayers for several our parishioners who are ill are requested. Other families have been bereaved in recent times and ask for our prayers at this time of loss.
This week I had hoped to have further news on my future as outlined in the parish bulletin on 30th August 2020. Due to the Passionist Chapter being cancelled twice last year, my change due in 2020 did not occur. COVID lockdowns have slowed the process. News will be shared as it becomes available.
Preregistration for Mass is essential as the pandemic continues. To register at church when you arrive presents difficulties for all.
Baptism of Our Lord
Water has been part of my whole life. I was born by the seaside. The River Dargle runs through the centre of Bray where I was born. The harbour at the end of the promenade, was where we often played as children. Water was poured over me in Baptism when carried to the font at a few days old. This started a lifelong relationship with God that has lasted to this day.
Everywhere I have ever lived, a swimming pool within reach is a bonus. The sports centre nearby is great. A few times a week, I could exercise by going for a swim and could be there and back within one hour. The pandemic put an end to that for the time being. It will be marvellous when conditions allow entry to the water again.
Reading the account of Creation at the beginning of the Book of Genesis, we see that God started with water. He put some above the firmament and some below. Dry land was placed in the midst of the waters. Then coming out of slavery in Egypt, God split the waters of the Red Sea in two so that the Israelites could cross on dry land.
Later on we read of Jonah going to sea and ending up in a great storm. Paul talks about being shipwrecked off the island of Malta. Jesus chose four of the first Apostles from among fishermen. Jesus walked on water; Peter attempted this but with less success.
Today we go to the banks of the River Jordan and join the line waiting for the immersion in water of John’s baptism of repentance. How amazed John the Baptist must have been to see his cousin, Jesus lining up to be baptised? A suggestion by John to switch roles did not convince Jesus to abandon the idea of being baptised.
Coming up out the waters, the heavens are ‘torn apart’ and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descended on Jesus. A voice came from heaven declaring Jesus to be, ‘my Son, the Beloved; my favour resets of him’. Baptism for Jesus was a pivotal moment.
When Jesus loved us to the end on the Cross, it seemed that He had no more to give. The spear piercing the Sacred Side, out flowed blood and water. Tradition sees in these signs the Eucharist and Baptism. In the water flowing from His side we have been washed clean of sin and the key to Heaven entrusted to us. This is when the love story between us and God is launched. Baptism initiates us into the family of God.
The reminder of baptism is before us each time we bless ourselves with Holy Water. The custom of having a holy water font at the door of a home, reminds all who enter that we are a blessed and people belonging to Jesus through baptism.
At Mass today, we have that beautiful portrayal of the three witnesses, the Spirit, the water and the blood. St John adds that all three agree. This is God’s guarantee that we belong to him and always will.
One of the great privileges that priests and deacons have is regularly to baptise. I am so happy when I can baptise. Children are there because their parents realise that this is a great gift to give to their child at the beginning of life. In years to come, the hope is that the witness and teaching of the parents will have led the young person to personally embrace Jesus.
A high point for me each year is pouring the water of baptism over the heads of adults who have made the journey of discovery of the beauty of God over previous years. I have seen tears of joy and smiles at this moment of incorporation into Christ and His Body, the Church. Adults witness in a strong way to the action of the Holy Spirit to lead them to this moment.
Today as we renew our Baptismal Promises, we can humbly thank God for choosing us to have this privilege of belonging so closely to Him. If we can ever lead others to the font of Baptism, we will have lived out our gift of Baptism in an eminent way.