Baptism of the Lord

Peaceful Sunday, slight wind in the catalpa trees, mountains blue encircling the village. Thinking back to my own January 13 baptism into the Roman Catholic Church in 1982, Feast of St Hilary of Poitiers. Tomorrow.

A long and  restless 32 years.

 

Reflecting on this from NT Wright:
In particular, we may remind ourselves of the towering significance, in Paul’s thought, of Romans 6.1-11. Having just expounded the gospel of grace, God’s rich, welcoming and forgiving love meeting us where we are, helpless sinners (5.6-10), he faces the question: if God’s grace meets while we are sinners, must we therefore stay as sinners so that God’s grace can go on meeting us there? He knows the answer as soon as he has asked the question, but a great many people in today’s church do not know it and cheerfully answer, ‘Yes!’ instead. It is one of the most important principles of biblical ethics, and one trampled in the mud again and again in contemporary debate: that God’s grace meets us where we are, but God’s grace, thank God, does not leave us where we are; that God accepts us as we are, but that God’s grace, thank God, is always a transforming acceptance, so that in God’s very act of loving us and wooing our answering love we are being changed; and, more dramatically, in baptism and all that it means we are actually dying and rising, leaving one whole way of life and entering upon a wholly different one.

 

First reading
Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7 ©
Thus says the Lord:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit
that he may bring true justice to the nations.
*
He does not cry out or shout aloud,
or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed,
nor quench the wavering flame.
*
Faithfully he brings true justice;
he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.

*

 

I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
*
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.
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