CHRISTMAS, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

“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...” (Matthew 3:16.)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“In the times before Christ’s coming, those being baptized were held down in the water a longer time for the confession of sin. But Christ, being sinless, “came up immediately.” For Christ was not baptized as one repenting but as one cleansing sins and sanctifying the waters.” (Fragment 29)

Almighty ever-living God,
Who, when Christ had been baptized
in the River Jordan and as the Holy Spirit descended upon him,
solemnly declared him your beloved Son,
grant that your children by adoption,
reborn of water and the Holy Spirit,
may always be well pleasing to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen