In today's gospel we learn about how Jesus allows Saint John the Baptist to baptise him with water, to show us by example what we need to be part of God's family.
Holy Spirit, fill my heart and illuminate my mind. Help me to hear and understand God's message today. Help me to be aware of God's presence and voice in my daily life. Amen
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me.I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAdu7rkfeuk (Credit to Catholic Kids Media)
Say: Today is the last day of the liturgical season of Christmas. It may come as a surprise that our Gospel for today doesn't tell us a story about Jesus' childhood. Instead we hear about how Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Today is a good day to think about our own Baptism.
Ask: What are some symbols we identify with Baptism? (water, oil, white garment, light) A dove is another symbol associated with Baptism.
Say: When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, something amazing happened.
Ask: What happened when Jesus was baptized by John? (The sky opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus; a voice from heaven announced that Jesus was God's Son.) What does John the Baptist say will be different about the baptism that will be initiated by Jesus? (John baptized with water; those baptized in Jesus' name will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.)
Say: We received the gift of the Holy Spirit when we were baptized. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will be strengthened in us through the Sacrament of Confirmation. If we read further in Mark's Gospel, we would learn that filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus began the work of his ministry. In the sacraments, Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us so that we might be witnesses to Jesus in our world.
Conclude in prayer together that through the grace of the sacraments we will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit for our lives of discipleship. Conclude with the Sign of the Cross.
Father in heaven, we give you today, all that we think, and do, and say, and we join it with all that was done by Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen