11 Jan 2015

11th January 2015 - Feast of the Baptism of the Lord - Christmastide 2014

On this weeks programme John is joined in studio by Martina and Michael Keating who discuss the role and history of St Ita in Limerick diocese as well as a reflection on baptism. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel which is the last gospel of the Christmas period as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the full programme podcast HERE.

Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism is the doorway into the church as it is the first sacrament of initiation into the Body of Christ and on this weeks programme John and his panel reflect on the meaning of the sacrament and its impact on our lives as Christians and how it is an opening to grace in our lives.

You can listen to the reflection on baptism excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Pope Francis has reflected on the sacrament of baptism at numerous times since he was elected Pope with many reflections.He has reminded us that baptism is no just a formality. "It is an act that touches the depths of our existence. A baptized child and an unbaptized child are not the same. A person who is baptized and a person who is not baptized are not the same. We, by Baptism, are immersed in that inexhaustible source of life which is the death of Jesus, the greatest act of love in all of history; and thanks to this love we can live a new life, no longer at the mercy of evil, of sin and of death, but in communion with God and with our brothers and sisters". He has reflected on baptism during his weekly general audiences links to which are:

8th January 2014
15th January 2014

SS102fm has done a number of programmes on baptism before including a part of our series on the Sacraments when Sr Margaret O'Sullivan reflected on the sacrament of baptism HERE.

Gospel - Mark 1:7-11 - The Baptism of the Lord

And [John the Baptist] preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." 
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased."
Catholic Culture - Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.

In the Eastern Church this feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan God appeared in three persons. The baptism of John was a sort of sacramental preparatory for the Baptism of Christ. It moved men to sentiments of repentance and induced them to confess their sins. Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the "substance of our flesh" and was recognized "outwardly like unto ourselves," He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism which would remove all the sins of the world: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world."

It was a voice out of nowhere.
It was a voice from everywhere.
It was the voice of love.
It was the voice from above.
“You are my beloved,” came the words;
“You are my beloved,” was what they heard.
“You are my Son;”
“You are the One.”
The words were spoken at the river
By One, who of all life, is the giver.
The words were spoken to identify Jesus;
The words were spoken that God might touch us.
Down through the centuries of life,
Through war and pestilence and strife,
The faithful lose all fear,
When “You are my beloved” is what they hear.
The words are meant for all;
The words are God’s call.
“I love you without reserve.”
“I love you more than you deserve.”
And then there comes a time in each soul
When we embrace our God and commit our whole.
We say we will follow Jesus’ way
And in his path we will stay.
But sometimes we forget that we are the beloved.
Sometimes we fail to seek the way of love.
Sometimes we think that on our own we can win.
Often we must repent of our life of sin.
And again we pledge our hearts and vow
That we want to make a difference now.
We hear the challenge to reach out –
We look beyond our walls and that’s what Christianity is about.
We remember that Jesus would not be in our midst.
He would be among the people whom we try to miss.
He would walk with the homeless, sit with the sick –
The poorest of the poor would be his pick.
When we do likewise, our soul is eased
And God says of us, “With you I am well pleased.”
And in the squalor of our sinful life, God continues to love
And speaks to the people of the ages that we, too, are the beloved.

Rev. Terry Heck, Bellbrook UMC, Bellbrook, OH.

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

St Ita of Kileedy - co-patron of the diocese of Limerick

St Ita also known as the Brigid of Munster is associated with the parish of Killeedy and is one of the co-patrons of the diocese of Limerick. January 15th is her feast day. 

In previous years Michael Keating has shared with us about this extraordinary woman and her role on the development of the faith. 

We discussed how she is a role model and especially how she is a role model for women and what she would say to us in Limerick today. 

We discussed her links with Killeedy, her fostering of various Irish saints and her link with St. Brendan the Navigator. 

She is reportedly a good intercessor in terms of pregnancy and eye illnesses.

"St Ita, the patron saint of Killeedy, was born before 484AD in County Waterford, in the Tramore area. Her father was Cennfoelad or Confhaola and her mother was Necta. Cennfoelad was descended from Felim the lawgiver. 

Ita's name was originally Dorothea or Deirdre. She was a member of the Déisí tribe. Ita refused her father's wish that she should marry a local chieftain, as she believed that she had a calling from God and wanted to become a nun. To convince her father to change his mind, she fasted for three days and three nights. On the third night, God gave out to her father in his sleep. The next morning, Cennfoelad agreed that Ita could do as she wished. At the age of sixteen, Ita set off on her journey. Bishop (St.) Declan of Ardmore conferred the veil on her. 

Legend has it that Ita was lead to Killeedy by three heavenly lights. The first was at the top of the Galtee mountains, the second on the Mullaghareirk mountains and the third at Cluain Creadhail, which is nowadays Killeedy. Her sister Fiona also went to Killeedy with her and became a member of the community. Ita was welcomed to Killeedy by the local chieftain of the Ui Conaill Gabhra tribe. The chieftain wanted to give Ita a large trait of land but she only wanted a few acres as a garden for her community."

You can listen to Michael Keating's 2014 reflection on St Ita HERE.

You can read the 2013 post on St Ita including a discussion between Fr Michael Liston and Michael Keating HERE and previous posts including the readings and other information HERE.

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours - 1st Week in Ordinary time, Psalter Week 1

Saints of the Week

12th January - Blessed Pierre-François Jamet
13th January - St Hilary
14th January - St Sava of Serbia
15th January - St Ita of Killeedy; co-patron of the diocese of Limerick
16th January - St Fursa (abbott and missionary)
17th January - St Anthony (abbot)
18th January -Beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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