Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Baptism of the Lord

 Luke 3: 15-16; 21-23

"The Holy Spirit descended on him”

We are told here of the source of the power of Jesus Christ – the Holy Spirit is the presence of God’s power. As we say in the third Eucharistic Prayer: “all life, all holiness, comes from you (Father) through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit”. After the time of temptation in the desert, St. Luke tells us that “Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee”. At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour”. He then declared “This text is being fulfilled today”. As St. Peter, explained to Cornelius “God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power”.

This same Spirit of power and of life is given to us. God has “sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins” as we say in the prayer of absolution. We have been baptised in water and the Holy Spirit, and confirmed in the Spirit, so that we may live in the Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ, and we then pray that we who share his body and blood “may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ”. Here is the source of our power.