Baptism of the Lord Year C

Sunday January 12, 2025
Sunday January 9, 2028
Sunday January 12, 2031

The readings for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Year C focus on the revelation of Jesus Christ as God’s beloved and upon the effects of the Spirit.

In the first reading we hear being formed and presented as a light for the nations. The alternate first reading foretells the coming of John the Baptist. The psalm tells us to give God the glory. The alternate psalm praises God for his life-giving power. In the second reading we hear that Jesus was anointed with the Spirit. The alternate second reading we are told Christ renews us with his Spirit. The gospel tells of the baptism of Jesus Christ, when the Spirit descended and a voice declared “You are my beloved Son”.

Daily Mass Readings for the Baptism of the Lord Year C

  • First ReadingIsaiah 42:1-4, 6-7: “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.”
  • Alternate First ReadingIsaiah  40:1-5, 9-11: “Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!”
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 29: “The Lord will bless his people with peace.”
  • Alternate Responsorial PsalmPsalm 104: “O bless the Lord, my soul.”
  • Second ReadingActs 10:34-38: “He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
  • Alternate Second ReadingTitus 2:11-14; 3:4-7: “He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.”
  • GospelLuke 3:15-16, 21-22: “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.””

Themes for the Gospel

  • Viewing myself as “Beloved”
  • The movement of the Holy Spirit
  • The meaning of baptism

See more extended themes at the bottom of this post.

Resources for the Baptism of the Lord Year C

Beloved – A Baptism Lesson Plan

This Beloved lesson plan will help youth understand that baptism brings us into life as members of our Heavenly Father’s family.

Drip Drip Drop Game

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.

Praise to God the Creator

This prayer is based on Psalm 104, which is one of the responsorial psalm choices for this Sunday.

Water Drop Race

This is an indoor water game. It is not messy at all! Tie this in with a baptism theme.

Prayer to the Lord of Majesty

This prayer is based on Psalm 29, which is one of the psalm choices for the Mass readings. This prayer acclaims God as the Lord of Majesty and King of the World.

Baptism Word Search Puzzle

This word search puzzle includes words typically associated with baptism.

Paper Plate Dove Craft

This paper plate dove craft is simple enough for all ages.

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the Baptism of the Lord Year C

You are free to share with a reference to . Click on the image to download full size.

You are my beloved. With you I am well pleased. – Luke 3:22

Today’s Gospel shows us the Baptism of Jesus. He who is the Son of God, the Messiah goes to the Jordan River to be baptized. He lines up with the sinners, He shares our plight, He goes down into the river and at the same time into the wounded history of humanity to heal it.

Pope Francis

Homilies and Reflections

Anointed Ones

This reflection for the Baptism of the Lord Year C points out that baptism marks a new beginning. Christ is the source from which God pours out his Holy Spirit.

Priests, Prophets, and Kings

Bishop Robert Barron explains that through our baptism we are joined with Christ. How can we live our identity in him?

Baptism Is the First Step to Humility

Pope Francis reflects that the baptism of our Lord shows an attitude of simplicity and respect. He also explains the need for infant baptism.

The Anointing

Scott Hahn explains that Jesus humbles himself through baptism to lead a new Exodus, to lead us to the Promised Land of heaven.

Sin Can Never Cancel Out Your Baptism

Terrance Klein, SJ explains that for the baptized, when we pray God cannot distinguish our voice from the voice of his Beloved. And nothing we do can take that away.

Additional Themes for the Baptism of the Lord Year C

John’s baptism was a call to repentance. Jesus did not need to repent. So why did he have John baptize him? One reason is to show solidarity with us. By becoming one of us, he shares in our weakness. This is the same solidarity he shows by associating with prostitutes, tax collectors, and the like.

His baptism is also a commissioning. “Jesus also had been baptized and was praying…” His prayer indicates that this is a significant moment in his life. And the Spirit descends on him. This is a parallel to when the Spirit comes to the disciples at Pentecost, preparing them for their mission.

But his baptism also shows us that baptism is a sign of citizenship in the Kingdom of God. And it revealed his relationship with the Father. At our baptism we declare that we are we are living under the reign of God.

The baptism of Jesus preceded the start of his public ministry. Our own baptism prepares us to share in the ministry of Christ. Through our sacramental encounter, we are equipped to use our gifts in service of the Kingdom of God. Our loving Father transforms us through the Spirit to bring new life to our communities.

Both the first and second readings indicate what the mission of Jesus will be. Isaiah tells us “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.” And in Titus tell us that he “gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.”

Reflection Questions for the Baptism of the Lord Year C

  • Do I view myself and others as God’s beloved?
  • How does the Spirit act in my life?
  • How have I experienced the love of God?
  • Have I had an encounter with the Lord which moved me to share in the work of Jesus?
  • What is my mission right now?


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