The weekly drop-in sessions continue to be held in the meeting area at the back of the church between 10.00am and 11.45am noon on Tuesdays if you want to find out more about the church, or just want to meet your friends for a chat and a cup of coffee.
Baptism is a one-off event with an enduring meaning. It is the first sacrament because it opens up before us the life of grace which leads us to share in the life of God. Jesus already shared that life when John the Baptist received him at the Jordan, but he was baptised in order to mark the beginning of a new stage of his earthly life. This was his ministry, in which he would touch our humanity with the divine life and so bring transformation to the people with whom he came into contact, but also to all who would receive his message. Baptism is not an act of magic and we need to respond with willing hearts and minds if the grace of God is to take effect within us. For us, this is nothing less than the pledge of eternal life.
First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5. 9-11
A reading from the prophet Isaiah.
"Console my people, console them” says your God. “Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.”....
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103
Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe!
You stretch out the heavens like a tent.
Response: Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are....
Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
A reading from the letter of St Paul to Titus.
God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God....
Gospel: Luke 3:15-16. 21-22
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.
A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, “I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”....