Baptism of the Lord Year A (2023)

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 A

  • First ReadingIsaiah 42:1-4, 6-7: “I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.”
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 29: “The Lord will bless his people with peace.”
  • Second ReadingActs 10:34-38: “You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.”
  • GospelMatthew 3:13-1: “After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him.”

Themes for the Baptism of the Lord Year A

The readings for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Year A give us reason to think about our own baptisms. The first reading speaks of our savior. The psalm declares “The Lord will bless his people with peace.” The second reading points out that Jesus Christ was baptized for the sake of our own salvation. In the gospel recounts how Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist.

  • Taking baptism for granted
  • Viewing myself as “Beloved”
  • The movement of the Holy Spirit

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the Baptism of the Lord Year A

Resources for the Baptism of the Lord Year A

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.

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.

Water Drop Race

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

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.

Homilies and Reflections for the Baptism of the Lord Year A

The Baptism of the Lord

Jeff Cavins offers his insights on the readings for this Sunday, The Baptism of the Lord.

Vitae Spiritualis Ianua

From Bishop Robert Barron. “The first sacrament one can receive in the Church, Baptism, defines our relationship with Christ. In it, we are reborn as part of his Mystical Body and gifted with the grace of God’s love. Baptism lays the foundation for every other sacrament we are to receive and inextricably links us with the Trinity.”

Initiation

From Fr. Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation. We have two births. The first is our physical birth. We also have a second birth, an initiation. Jesus goes into the wilderness for an initiation. Even Jesus had to go on a journey and make discoveries. And at his initiation, he hears the voice of the Father. We experience our second birth when we hear God call us beloved.

Anointed Ones

Scott Hahn explains that in Baptism, all are anointed with that same Spirit, made beloved sons and daughters of God. “Jesus presents himself for baptism in today’s Gospel not because He is a sinner, but to fulfill the word of God proclaimed by His prophets. He must be baptized to reveal that He is the Christ.” Continue reading.

The Baptism of the Lord

Also from Bishop Barron. “John the Baptist, the last and greatest of the prophets, correctly discerns that Jesus is the Son of God, but what he finds disconcerting is that this God-man comes to him for baptism: ‘I should rather be baptized by you.’ This reversal–still stunning 2000 years later–is indicative of the Incarnation’s purpose: God’s desire to enter into the state and condition of the sinner out of love.”

The Spirit of God

From Loyola Press. “The baptism of Jesus is attested to in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The account that appears in Matthew is the only one to include the dialogue between Jesus and John, however. Another difference in Matthew’s presentation of this event is the announcement made by the voice from heaven…” Continue reading.

More Thoughts for the Baptism of the Lord Year A

Today’s gospel tells us that Jesus started his public ministry with the clear affirmation that he is the Son of God. Matthew’s gospel account differs from the other synoptic gospels in that the proclamation “This is my beloved son.” is directed to all who are present.

This gospel account also tells us that Jesus is baptized for “righteousness”. Our own baptisms also call us to live as Isaiah tells us in the first reading, being a light to all we encounter. This brings to mind how we each received the light of Christ at our baptism, symbolized by our baptismal candles.

Reflection Questions for the Baptism of the Lord Year A

  • How often do I think of my baptism and what it means in my daily life?
  • Do I see myself as God’s beloved son or daughter?
  • Can I think of a recent example of when I was a light to those around me?

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

I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Faith is a gift that keeps alive a profound and beautiful certainty: that we are God’s beloved children.

Pope Francis

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