I find it very strange to be sitting here at my PC on a Saturday evening at this time. I should be all ready to go onto the Altar at St Bride’s for the Vigil Mass and then on to St Anne’s for the Saturday Vigil there also. I think this lockdown is harder to bear than the first. To me it seems as if it has been lockdown forever, already, so I share with you some thoughts on the Liturgy of this Feast of the Lord’s Baptism which brings to an end this phase of Christmas tide.
On Monday we begin what the Church refers to as “Ordinary Time”, which does not derive from the common understanding of “ordinary” as say commonplace, or usual. It comes from the ordinal numerals by which the weeks are counted, until we start a special Liturgical Season again. Ash Wednesday this year falls on February 17th, opening the Holy Season of Lent and Easter Sunday falls on 4th April and so on to Pentecost after which we pick up Ordinary Time again.
Throughout the year, the Mystery of Our Lord Jesus Christ is put before us for our reflection and to inspire us to love our lives according to His teaching and example. In our Baptism we have been made new by the Holy Spirit and it is our life’s work to make true in our lives what St Paul expressed, “ I live now, not I but Christ lives in me”.
To adapt the words of Joseph Ratzinger ( Pope Benedict XVI ) in his book “Jesus of Nazareth”, the Pope reminds us that when a person begins ( through Baptism and ongoing deepening of a loving relationship with Jesus) to see and live from God’s perspective, when that person is a companion on Jesus’ way, then that person lives by new standards and something of the world to come, is already present. Jesus brings joy into the midst of affliction.
May the joy of Our Lord Jesus Christ, poured into your heart at Baptism be your strength and comfort in these anxious times.
Keep well, keep safe and keep praying.