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Full lections can be read here.
Based on the Readings as Set
First Reading (Isaiah 43:1-7)
After informing Israel that her exile was the result of disobedience, Isaiah now reassures her she will pass through these menacing waters because the Lord has created and redeemed her. Giving the nations in exchange, he will gather home her offspring, all those called by his name.
The Psalmist calls all heavenly beings to worship Yahweh for his glory and strength, demonstrated by his voice shaking the very earth. All in his temple cry “Glory!” to the eternal king who sits above the flood. May he bless his people with strength and peace.
Second Reading (Acts 8:14-17)
The Apostles in Jerusalem hear that the Word of God had been accepted outside of the Holy Land in Samaria. They send Peter and John to this group who had only been baptized in water and when the Apostles lay hands upon them, they receive the Holy Spirit for the first time.
Gospel (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)
John the Baptist raises expectations in the people that he might be the Messiah, but he claims that a much greater one is coming who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Upon Jesus himself being baptized, a heavenly voice proclaims him as the beloved Son of God.
- The waters of baptism are both disturbing and assuring
- Jesus identifies with the historical experience of Israel
- What Jesus brings overflows the expectations of Israel
- The God of all creation has acted definitively in the arrival of the Christ
- Christian baptism has both inner and outer dimensions