The First Sunday after the Epiphany [Baptism of our Lord]
Eternal Father, at the baptism of Jesus you revealed him to be your Son, and your Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove: Grant that we, who are born again by water and the Spirit, may be faithful as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law.
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord; * with my mouth will I ever be proclaiming your faithfulness, from one generation to another.
For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up for ever; * your faithfulness shall be established in the heavens.”
I have made a covenant with my chosen one; * I have sworn to David my servant:
“Your seed will I establish for ever, * and set up your throne from one generation to another.”
O Lord, the heavens will praise your wondrous works * and your faithfulness in the assembly of the saints.
For who in the clouds can be compared unto the Lord? * And who among the gods is like unto the Lord?
God is greatly to be feared in the council of the saints, * and to be held in reverence by all those who are round about him.
O Lord God of hosts, who is like you? * Your faithfulness, most mighty Lord, is round about you.
You rule the raging of the sea; * you still the waves when they arise.
You have subdued Rahab of the deep, and destroyed her; * you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; * you laid the foundation of the world, and all that is in it.
You have made the north and the south; * Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in your Name.
You have a mighty arm; * strong is your hand, and high is your right hand.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; * mercy and truth shall go before your face.
Blessed are the people, O Lord, who rejoice in you; * they shall walk in the light of your countenance.
Their delight shall be in your Name all the day long, * and in your righteousness shall they make their boast.
For you are the glory of their strength, * and by your favor you shall lift up our might.
For the Lord is our defense; * the Holy One of Israel is our King.
You spoke in a vision to your saints, and said, * “I have set the crown upon one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
I have found David my servant; * with my holy oil have I anointed him.
My hand shall hold him fast, * and my arm shall strengthen him.
The enemy shall not be able to do him violence; * the son of wickedness shall not hurt him.
I will smite his foes before his face * and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him, * and in my Name shall his horn be exalted.
I will give him dominion over the sea, * and with his right hand shall he rule the rivers.
He shall say to me, “You are my Father, * my God and the rock of my salvation.”
And I will make him my firstborn, * higher than the kings of the earth.
My mercy will I keep for him for ever, * and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
His seed will I make to endure for ever * and his throne as the days of heaven.
+Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Artwork: “The Baptism of Christ” c.1922, Patrick Joseph Tuohy (1894–1930)