Welcome to the season of Lent. Today we begin the journey of penance and reflection that will bring us to the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter time. On Ash Wednesday, we pray for the grace to keep Lent faithfully.
Everyone who believes God’s word is called to pass on the Good News. Like many who have gone before us, including the prophet Isaiah and the apostles Peter and Paul, we may not feel up to the task. But God helps us every day.
• Today, the last Sunday before Lent, is celebrated as Temperance Sunday in Ireland.
We gather as people loved by God, people called to pass on the love we have received. The love God has put into the world will never fail, but will last as long as humanity lasts. We praise God for the gifts lavished on us. (Today is the first day of Catholic Schools Week in Ireland.)
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity continues until this Monday. With Christians all over the world, we ask God to give us the unity for which Christ prayed.
There are echoes of the Christmas season in today’s liturgy, particularly in the Gospel story of the wedding feast of Cana, in which God’s glory becomes visible in Jesus, as it did at his Epiphany and Baptism.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord: it’s the last day of the Christmas season.
The baptism of Jesus marked the end of his quiet years in Nazareth and the start of his public ministry.
On this feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the revelation of who Christ is. The visit of the wise men reminds us that Jesus came as the Saviour of all nations, including ours. We worship God who wants all people to be saved.
We gather to celebrate the first Sunday of 2016, with thankfulness for the year just gone. We ask God for continuing care and protection as face this New Year, not knowing what it will bring.
Today is part of the continuing Christmas celebration. In today’s Mass, we honour the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. As during this week we say goodbye to 2015, we entrust our families to their patronage, and pray for God’s help in the New Year.
In the dark of Christmas night, Christians proclaim the new light that has shone on the world: Jesus Christ is born! With the angels, we worship God who saves us — for through the life, death and resurrection of this child Jesus, salvation is ours.