The Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on the Sunday after January 6. When the Feast of the Epiphany falls on Sunday January 7 or Sunday January 8, then the Baptism of the Lord is observed on Monday instead.
Mass Readings for the Baptism of the Lord Year B
- First Reading – Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7: "A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching."
- Alternate First Reading - Isaiah 55:1-11: "For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 29: "The Lord will bless his people with peace."
- Alternate Responsorial Psalm - Isaiah 12: "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation."
- Second Reading – Acts 10:34-38: "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him."
- Alternate Second Reading - 1 John 5:1-9: "This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one who testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord."
- Gospel - Mark 1:7-11: "It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him."
Themes for the Baptism of the Lord Year B
The readings for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Year B remind us that like Jesus, we are members of God's family through the gift of baptism. The first reading speaks of being formed and called. The alternate first reading is a call to grow closer to God. The psalm reminds us that God brings peace to his children. The alternate responsorial psalm is full of images of water and salvation. The second reading tells of how the proclamation of the Good News began with the baptism of Jesus. The alternate second reading declares that "there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood". The gospel recalls the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by John the Baptist.
- Holy Spirit
- Kinship with God
Resources for the Baptism of the Lord Year B
This Beloved lesson plan will help youth understand that baptism brings us into life as members of our Heavenly Father’s family.
This is a water game for teenagers which can be played indoors if you don't mind wiping up a few puddles at the end. It is basically Duck Duck Goose with water.
This prayer is based on Psalm 29, which is one of the psalm choices for the Baptism of the Lord Year B. This prayer acclaims God as the Lord of Majesty and King of the World.
This is an indoor water game. It is not messy at all! Tie this in with a baptism theme.
This paper plate dove craft is simple enough for all ages.
This reflection encourages youth to consider how God expresses His love to us as baptized members of His family. It is based on the Gospel for the Baptism of the Lord Year B.
This word search puzzle includes words typically associated with baptism.
Homilies and Reflections for the Baptism of the Lord Year B
Jeff Cavins offers his insights on the readings for this Sunday, The Baptism of the Lord.
Fr John Muir on Baptism. When the priest takes the water and pours it and says the words, something happens. It is a new birth.
From Bishop Robert Barron. "This baptism was embarrassing to the early Church, because it was interested in presenting Jesus as the Son of God, and yet people were coming to John as sinners for a baptism of repentance. Why would the incarnate Son of God seek out such a baptism? It is the very embarrassment of the baptism that, in many ways, is the point."
Also from Bishop Barron. "All the baptized participate in Christ. Since Christ is the fulfillment of the priest, prophet, and king that means that all the baptized are those as well. Although this statement may seem odd since we do not naturally think of ourselves this way, we must become more conscious of what it means to be grafted onto Christ."
Pope Francis reflects that the baptism of our Lord shows an attitude of simplicity and respect. He also explains the need for infant baptism.
More Thoughts for the Baptism of the Lord Year B
At the time of our baptism, we are anointed priest, prophet, and king. But how seriously do we take these callings? To be a member of the universal priesthood means that we are called to serve. To be a prophet means to speak the truth of God, even when it is unpopular. And to be a king means to make every effort to grow the Kingdom of God.
Jesus shared in our baptism so we could hare in these roles with him. When we receive the Spirit at baptism, we are empowered to participate in the ministry of Christ. Our baptism is a call to action.
Reflection Questions for the Baptism of the Lord Year B
- How do I express that I am a member of the universal priesthood?
- Have I spoken the truth of the gospel lately as a prophet?
- What am I doing to help the Kingdom of God grow?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the Baptism of the Lord Year B
All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread, your wages for what fails to satisfy? ... Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near.