January 7th 2007 – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Another Angle – Immersing in Faith
The place of the font in church architecture is a troubled one. In the past we allowed ourselves to use fonts often little bigger than bird-baths. Now that adult baptism is becoming more common (just like in the early church), a rethink is in process. In a strange parallel the early baptism of infants is similarly delayed as it regarded as more important that you gather a dispersed family than that you actually have a child baptised.
The two (and it can be no more than 1 male and 1 female) Godparents can tend to be still chosen because they are relatives, rather than for being a role model in faith. But the importance of early baptism is still stressed in Church Law: "Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks" (canon 867.1). Why is this? Because through baptism one becomes a child of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. Why on earth would you delay? That surely beats all the baby shower presents in the world.
We would rightly criticize people who would allow a child to play with a dangerous toy that might deprive them of their physical life. So, why put off giving them the greatest gift – eternal life with God through a friendship forged in baptism.
Fr. Tom Cox at St. Mel's Cathedral, Longford.
Email  tomascox@eircom.net

A Thought
Our own baptism was a special occasion even though we may have no memories whatsoever of it except for photos.
Every Christian baptism today is celebrated with joy and the ceremony is full of beautiful meaning and symbolism. Unfortunately we tend to see our baptism as a once off event when in fact its effects have an impact on our daily lives.
Our baptism and what we believe in gives our lives meaning and fulfilment and no one can take that away from us.
Lord, today is the feast of your baptism. May I always nurture the gift of faith you have given me. You have said that the smallest of seeds can make such a difference. Help me to realise that my faith too can make all the difference.

Questions people ask
Q. Is there any special significance in the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove after the baptism of Jesus?
A. Yes, this dove over the baptismal water recalls the picture of God's spirit hovering over the primitive waters in the story of creation. Water can also be a force of death, as it was in the days of Noah and the flood. A dove bearing an olive branch signified that the flood had subsided. In the Song of Songs the writer calls on the beloved as a dove. So, the dove was an apt symbol of the Holy Spirit as it was associated with the ordering of creation, divine reconciliation and intimate love.
Fr. Silvester O'Flynn
Email silvesteroflynn@oceanfree.net

Week beginning Sunday 7 January 2007
This week's Calendar
Monday 8    Weekday (1st in Ordinary Time)
Tuesday 9    Weekday
Wednesday 10    Weekday
Thursday 11    Weekday
Friday 12    Weekday
Saturday 13    St. Hilary (315-367) Became bishop of Poitiers in 350 and was an active opponent of Arianism – wrote many treatises on the faith including the famous De Trinitate. He also composed many hymns.

Back to School
We wish both the teachers and students of the schools a welcome back after the Christmas holiday. We hope you all had a well earned rest.

St. Joseph's Young Priests Society
The monthly meeting will be held in the Parish Centre on this Tuesday 9th January after the 10 am Mass.

Website of the Week
Message for World Day of Prayer for Peace 2007